Munitions Unit Decertified

Air Force Materiel Command announced Feb. 9 that the 898th Munitions Squadron at Kirtland AFB, N.M., had been decertified—suspended from conducting its usual nuclear weapons maintenance activities—on Jan. 27. Brig. Gen. Everett Thomas, head of the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center, headquartered at Kirtland, called for the suspension. The squadron falls under the 498th Nuclear Systems Wing, which the AFNWC oversees. The center itself is part of Air Force Materiel Command, so it was AFMC boss, Gen. Donald Hoffman, who actually issued the decertification order. He said in a statement that the decision was the right action to give the squadron time to identify and implement necessary changes and to confirm USAF’s and AFMC’s commitment to excellence in the nuclear enterprise. The unit must undergo a new nuclear surety inspection—no date set—before regaining certification to perform its mission.