Talking about the recent nuclear mission missteps that led to the ouster of the Air Force’s top two leaders, Air Force Space Command boss Gen. Robert Kehler, told airmen at his headquarters in Colorado, “I believe that no one has knowingly made bad decisions over the past 10 years; I think that one thousand little decisions have led to fundamental issues in our ICBM forces.” Among those decisions 10 years ago was changing the nomenclature for the Air Force ICBM units, making them “space wings” like the command’s other units. Outgoing Chief of Staff Gen. Michael Moseley announced last week that the ICBM units would go back to being “missile wings,” as one initiative to restore commitment to the ICBM mission. Kehler acknowledged that several areas need improvements, and he called for dedication “to getting after the issues that have been raised” in the so-called Donald Report. He wants everyone to “insist on perfection” and to be “absolutely certain that we are holding people to the appropriate level of accountability.” However, he noted, “My view is that any command that achieves 58 successful launches in a row; puts things on orbit where they don’t fail prematurely for over five years; and maintains a 90-plus percent alert rate in its ICBM force must have a positive culture that grows competent, responsible, professional airmen and civilians.” (AFSPC report by Ed White)
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.