20, 2013: A recent
report from the Inspector General of the Air Force found that Maj.
Gen. Michael Carey, former commander of 20th Air Force,
violated Article 133—conduct unbecoming an officer—during a trip to Russia in
According to the report, Carey, who was leading a US
delegation of military and civilian nuclear security experts in Moscow for a
joint nuclear security exercise with Russia, was repeatedly drunk and often
rude during the trip.
While having drinks with his team in the executive lounge of
the Marriott lobby on July 15, Carey boasted “of the importance of his
position” and complained “that his group had the worst morale and that the
leadership wasn’t supporting him,” according to a chronology of events included
in the report.
Twentieth Air Force, headquartered at F.E. Warren AFB, Wyo.,
oversees the Air Force's three Minuteman III ICBM wings, including Minot AFB’s
91st Missile Wing in North Dakota, which had come under heavy scrutiny after
the Air Force relieved
19 launch control officers of their authority to control and
launch Minuteman III nuclear missiles last spring following poor performance in
one aspect of a consolidated unit inspection.
Carey and a civilian member of his team left the Marriott
around midnight that night, heading to the Ritz Carlton where they “met two
foreign national women.” Carey stayed out with the women all night, returning
to his own hotel room as late as 5 a.m. Consequently, he was 45 minutes late to
the initial briefing with the Russian Federation, states the report.
Once at the briefing, “Maj. Gen. Carey’s behavior [was]
perceived by at least some of the US delegation as rude,” states the report.
During a lunch banquet on July 16, Carey made inappropriate
comments about Syria and National Security Administration leaker Edward Snowden
“that were not well received.” He then went on to announce “he had met two hot
women the night before,” states the report.
During a tour of a local monastery, also on July 16, Carey
was so drunk he was slurring his words, interrupting the tour guide, and even
attempted to give the guide a “fist bump” at one point.
Other members of the delegation had to “keep checking” on
Carey as they walked around the Red Square, which separates the royal citadel
from the rest of Moscow, later that day because he kept lagging behind.
One witness described Carey as “pouting” and “sulking” over
the day’s activities while another said, “he was not totally coherent” and
didn’t have “all his faculties,” states the report.
Although Carey met up with the two women he originally met
at the Ritz for a second time, he later turned their business cards into the
Office of Special Investigations, saying he “had concerns.”
“When asked why he was concerned about the two women, Maj.
Gen. Carey stated, ‘Well, it just seemed kind of peculiar that we saw them one
night and then saw them again later while we were [at dinner the following
night], and for people who are in business to be kinda [sic] conveniently in
the same place where we’re at, it seemed odd to me,” states the report.
However, the report also notes that Carey still had drinks
with the two women, even dancing with one at the restaurant, despite his
Carey also grew suspicious of a woman from whom he purchased
cigars at the Marriott, turning her card into OSI as well.
“I advised one of the officers [OSI] that you need to watch
out for that because that’s just like our training says, you know, people are
trolling for information,” said Carey, according to the report. He continued,
“And, a tobacco store lady talking about physics in the wee hours of the
morning doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. Most, uh, um, store venders
are home trying to sleep for the next day.”
Force Global Strike Command boss Lt. Gen. James Kowalski relieved
Carey of his duties as 20th AF commander in October, citing “loss
of trust and confidence in his leadership and judgment.” He was later
reassigned to Air Force Space Command headquarters.