Donley Eyed as Wynne Successor

Breaking wire service reports, including this Reuters article, are announcing from the Pentagon that Defense Secretary Robert Gates likely will name Michael Donley to take over as Air Force Secretary in place of Michael Wynne, who resigned yesterday (see below)....

More to the Story

According to an MSNBC news report, Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne refused to comply with an order from Defense Secretary Robert Gates to fire Gen. Michael Moseley. Gates directed Wynne to fire Moseley last week, sources told MSNBC. When he...

Air Force Leadership Resigns

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates accepted the resignation of Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne and Gen. Michael Moseley, Chief of Staff, on June 5. Speaking to reporters at the Pentagon that same day, Gates said he believed that a change in leadership was needed “to bring in a new perspective and especially to underscore the issue of accountability.” Gates faulted USAF’s leadership pair for a “lack of effective oversight” in the service’s stewardship of nuclear weapons, “perhaps its most sensitive mission.” Indeed, he said, these declining standards were epitomized by the errant transfer of nuclear cruise missiles aboard a B-52 bomber last August and the mistaken shipment of Minuteman III ICBM missile components to Taiwan that came to light in March. Gates said these shortcomings “required strong action” on his part. The Taiwan incident “clearly was the trigger,” Gates said, in accepting the resignations. “I think it . . . prompted me to believe that there were serious systemic problems here” that went “well beyond” the B-52 incident. Gates said he consulted with President George Bush and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Michael Mullen on this action. He thanked Wynne and Moseley for their service, saying “they both deserve our gratitude.” He said he would recommend a new CSAF and service secretary shortly. Wynne issued a statement June 5, saying it has been “an honor and pleasure” to lead the service and its airmen “while working side-by-side with Gen. Moseley.” However, he said. “recent events convince me that it is now time for a new leader to take the stick and for me to move on.” Moseley, in his June 5 resignation announcement, said, “Recent events have highlighted a loss of focus on certain critical matters within the Air Force.” As USAF’s senior uniformed leader, “I take full responsibility for events which have hurt the Air Force’s reputation or raised a question of every Airman's commitment to our core values,” he said. “I think the honorable thing to do is to step aside.”

AFA Reaction to Wynne and Moseley Resignations

The Air Force Association noted “with the utmost regret” the resignations of Secretary of the Air Force Michael Wynne and Chief of Staff Gen. Michael Moseley on June 5 (see above). In a statement, AFA said both men “made significant contributions” to the Air Force during their tenure. AFA Chairman of the Board Bob Largent said “their visionary leadership in articulating legitimate Air Force requirements is precisely what our Air Force needs during these challenging times.”

And Senior Lawmakers Weigh In

And Senior Lawmakers Weigh In: Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, expressed his gratitude to Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne and Air Force Gen. Michael Moseley, Chief of Staff, for their many years of service on the news June 5 that they are stepping down. However, in a statement, Levin said Defense Secretary Robert Gates “took appropriate action” in accepting their resignations. His counterpart, Rep. Ike Skelton (D-Mo.), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, similarly said Wynne and Moseley “have earned our deep respect and gratitude.” But he, too, said he fully understands “the importance of properly handling and securing nuclear weapons and components” and the errant transfer of nuclear armed cruise missiles last year and the misshipment of missile nose cones to Taiwan—for which Gates faulted USAF’s leadership—“should never have happened” (see above). Rep. Ellen Tauscher (D-Calif.) who oversees DOD nuclear-related issues as chair of the House Armed Services strategic forces subcommittee, issued a release, stating that Gates “made the right decision by accepting” their resignations. Despite Wynne’s and Moseley’s “long and patriotic contributions,” these changes should serve as an opportunity “to correct major cultural and systemic flaws” in USAF’s handling of nuclear materials, she wrote.

Gates Moves to Improve Nuclear Oversight

Defense Secretary Robert Gates, dissatisfied with the “systemic” decline in the Air Force’s nuclear stewardship, told reporters June 5 he is creating a senior-level task force headed by James Schlesinger to recommend improvements in accountability and control. Schlesinger, a former...

B-2 Felled By Sensor Problem

As we reported in May, faulty readings in air data sensors caused the Feb. 23 crash of a B-2 bomber taking off from Guam, the service’s accident investigation board president said June 5. Announcing the AIB’s findings to reporters via...

One Last Hurrah

More than 190 members of the New York Air National Guard’s 174th Fighter Wing left Hancock Field ANGB in Syracuse June 4 on the unit’s final F-16 deployment to the Middle East before transitioning to a new mission later this...

Air Force Retires Storied C-130

One of the oldest aircraft in USAF’s inventory, a C-130E transport with tail number 63-7865, left its home with the 86th Airlift Wing at Ramstein AB, Germany, for the last time June 4 to fly into retirement back in the...

It’s JDAM Time

Air Force strike aircraft made frequent use of satellite-guided joint direct attack munitions June 4 in Afghanistan in support of combat operations, Air Forces Central said in a June 5 release. For example, F-15Es took out enemy buildings in Bahramchan...

Presence Felt

Grand Forks AFB, N.D., had an economic impact of more than $360 million on its surrounding area in Fiscal 2007, up $7 million from the previous fiscal year. The Grand Forks Herald reported June 5 that the new figure, issued by the base June 4, combines the base’s payroll ($138.9 million) and spending ($185.7 million) with the estimated value of jobs created ($35.9 million). Grand Forks is undergoing a transition from a primary tanker location to a home for MQ-1 Predator and RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicles, which are expected to start arriving in the next year or so. This change likely means fewer airmen will be stationed at the base, the newspaper said. However, Grand Forks may also host the new KC-X tanker at some point.

Take Another Look

Sam Nunn, former Democrat US senator from Georgia, said June 3 it’s time to reassess the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported June 4 that Nunn said “it’s appropriate to take another look” at the 15-year-old...

New Arrival at Hurlburt

The 5th Special Operations Squadron of Air Force Reserve Command’s 919th Special Operations Wing formally transferred its flag May 23 from Duke Field, Fla., downstate to Hurlburt Field, its new home. The flag transfer was made in the squadron’s final...

SWA Air Sorties

Air Sorties in War on Terrorism, Southwest AsiaJune 2, 2008

Sortie Type
CAS/Armed Recon
Air refueling

OIF=Operation Iraqi Freedom

OEF=Operation Enduring Freedom


YTD = Year to Date

Airlift includes Horn of Africa data