Improvements Needed

Both the 377th Air Base Wing and 498th Nuclear Systems Wing at Kirtland AFB, N.M, received an unsatisfactory rating during a six-day nuclear surety inspection held earlier this month. Although 12 individuals and five teams were recognized for superior performance, the Air Force Material Command-led inspection team identified “significant deficiencies” in areas including maintenance and security during the demanding evaluation of each unit’s ability to execute its nuclear mission, the command said in a release Nov. 24. Gen. Donald Hoffman, AFMC boss, said the results do not suggest Americans’ security or safety has been put at risk. Still, he added, these units must meet “the highest standards” of performance and “anything less than full compliance is not acceptable.” The inspectors will return by next February to judge whether the units, both subordinates to the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center, have addressed the shortcomings and fully pass muster.