There are other reviews brewing into the August “Bent Spear” incident in addition to the just concluded Air Combat Command commander-directed investigation (see above.) Maj. Gen. Douglas Raaberg, ACC director of air and space operations, led the CDI. Retired Air Force Gen. Larry Welch, former Chief of Staff, is heading a Defense Science Board review directed by Defense Secretary Robert Gates. Welch’s DSB standing task force on nuclear weapon surety is looking at Air Force procedures and more broadly at DOD policies and procedures. The Air Force has tapped Maj. Gen. Polly Peyer to lead a Blue Ribbon Review to make recommendations for improvements in Air Force policies and procedures for safely handling nuclear weapons, delivering a report to the Chief of Staff around Jan. 15. Air Combat Command has directed Lt. Gen. Norman Seip to review the CDI report and independently assess the “culpability of all Air Force members who were involved with the weapons transfer.” The 12th Air Force commander would have general court martial convening authority. In addition, Congress has requested a top-to-bottom review of DOD and Energy Department nuclear procedures.
Unlike nearly every other innovative technology throughout history, Maj. Gen. DeAnna M. Burt believes the space enterprise emerged backward. “Every other domain started with an entrepreneur who built something,” Burt, the special assistant to the Chief of Space Operations, told an audience at AFA’s Air, Space & Cyber Conference.