The Air Force fired the general in charge of its nuclear missiles on Friday, just two days after a Navy admiral with top nuclear weapons responsibilities was sacked. Both men are caught up in investigations of alleged personal misconduct, adding to a cascade of turmoil inside the nation’s nuclear weapons force.
The Air Force removed Maj. Gen. Michael Carey, a 35-year veteran, from his command of 20th Air Force, responsible for all 450 of the service’s intercontinental ballistic missiles. Carey, who took his post in Wyoming in June 2012, will be reassigned pending the outcome of an investigation into personal misbehavior, the service said.
The Air Force would not specify what Carey is alleged to have done wrong, but two officials with knowledge of the investigation indicated that it was linked to alcohol use.
They said it was not related to the performance or combat readiness of ICBM units or to his stewardship of the force.
Removing senior officers in the nuclear force is rare but has happened twice this week.
On Wednesday the Navy said Vice Adm. Tim Giardina, the second-in-charge at U.S. Strategic Command, was fired amid an investigation of gambling issues. He was demoted from three- to two-star rank and reassigned to a Navy staff job until the investigation is completed.
Together, the firings add a new dimension to a set of serious problems facing the military’s nuclear force. The ICBM segment in particular has had several recent setbacks, including a failed safety and security inspection at a base in Montana in August, followed by the firing of the colonel there in charge of security forces. In May, The Associated Press revealed that 17 Minuteman 3 missile launch control officers at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., had been taken off duty in a reflection of what one officer there called “rot” inside the ICBM force.
In a March inspection, missile launch crews at Minot scored the equivalent of a “D” grade on missile operations. In June the Minot officer in charge of training and proficiency of missile crews was fired.
Throughout this period the Air Force and top Pentagon officials have insisted that the nuclear force is safe and secure. But the competence of its management has been questioned.
Documents obtained by the AP show that at lower levels the force is beset with morale problems and incidents of indiscipline.
The U.S. has been shrinking the size of its nuclear arsenal for many years; it is comprised of long-range missiles aboard submarines, long-range bombers and ICBMs. As of Oct. 1 the U.S. had 1,688 deployed strategic nuclear warheads, which Washington is obliged to reduce to 1,550 by 2018 under the New START treaty with Russia.
As the arsenal has grown smaller, questions about management of the force have loomed larger. Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, the Republican chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said in August that the Air Force must refocus on its nuclear mission. He urged it to “hold failed leadership” accountable and to “recommit itself from the top down” to the mission of safely operating nuclear weapons.
The decision to sack Carey was made by Lt. Gen. James Kowalski, commander of Air Force Global Strike Command, which is in charge of all Air Force nuclear weapons, including bombers. The case appears to be unrelated to that of Giardina, but the two men are associated in the chain of responsibility for U.S. nuclear weapons.
Carey did not report directly to Giardina, but the ICBMs under Carey’s command would, in the event of war, receive their launch commands through Strategic Command, where Giardina had been the deputy commander since December 2011. By coincidence, Kowalski, who fired Carey, has been nominated to succeed Giardina at Strategic Command. The Senate has not yet confirmed Kowalski.
Kowalski selected the vice commander of Air Force Global Strike Command, Maj. Gen. Jack Weinstein, to temporarily replace Carey.
“It’s unfortunate that I’ve had to relieve an officer who’s had an otherwise distinctive career spanning 35 years of commendable service,” Kowalski said in a written statement from his headquarters at Barksdale Air Force Base, La.
An internal email obtained by the AP on Friday said the allegations against Carey stem from an inspector general probe of his behavior while on an unspecified “temporary duty assignment.” The email said the allegations are not related to the operational readiness of the ICBM force or recent failed inspections of ICBM units.
At a Pentagon news conference, an Air Force spokesman, Brig. Gen. Les Kodlick, would not provide details about the alleged misbehavior by Carey except to say it does not involve sexual misconduct or criminal activity. He said the investigation had been underway for several months.
“There was misbehavior such that (Kowalski) decided that it didn’t exemplify the trust and responsibilities required of a commander who is responsible for the nuclear force,” Kodlick said.
“Especially in the nuclear enterprise, it’s a position of great trust and responsibility. The nuclear deterrence mission is one of great focus, discipline. Personal behavior is vital to that, especially from a commander.”
Separately, two senior defense officials with knowledge of the allegations told the AP that they are at least partly related to alcohol use. The officials spoke only on condition of anonymity because they were was not authorized to discuss an internal investigation that is not yet finished.
Carey began his Air Force career in the enlisted ranks in 1978. He was commissioned as an officer in 1983 and is a veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He took command of the ICBM force, at 20th Air Force headquarters at F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyo., in June 2012.
Read This: Top Nuke Commanders Terminated Following Missing Nuclear Warheads Report
Two of the top nuclear commanders within the United States have now been terminated following the exclusive high level military leak report by Alex Jones and myself regarding the secret and unsigned nuclear weapons transfer from Dyess Air Force base to South Carolina. Disturbingly, the high level suspensions from top generals within the military establishment are not the only red flags to follow the leaked report.
Even before it was announced that the second highest nuke commander in the United States was suspended on the same day of the secret nuke transfer just weeks later, it was Senator Lindsey Graham who went on record hours after our report in saying that a ‘nuclear attack’ could come to South Carolina in the event that we did not move militarily against Syria and Iran — pushing even harder to action against both Iran and Syria. This alone generated hundreds of thousands to view our video reports and millions to examine our reports, which had immediately gone from concerning high level military intelligence to an international topic.
But now, even after we had Lindsey Graham warn against a nuclear strike in the exact region we told you the nuclear warheads were being transfered without a paper trail, we have the absolute highest level military nuke commanders being removed. But what’s more, the terminations were not meant to be leaked — especially not the fact that the suspension of the #2 in command was issued on the exact day of the nuke transfer.
From a report in the Daily Mail over the suspension of the second highest nuke commander in the country, we read how the commander was suspended on the exact same day as the transfer:
“Kunze said Strategic Command did not announce the Sept. 3 suspension because Giardina remains under investigation and action on Kehler’s recommendation that Giardina be reassigned is pending. The suspension was first reported by the Omaha World-Herald.”
It is also revealed in the mainstream media reports that the government did not want these suspensions and firings to go on record, and that it was an anonymous government insider who provided leaked emails to the Associated Press:
“An internal email obtained by the AP on Friday said the allegations against Carey stem from an inspector general probe of his behavior while on an unspecified ‘temporary duty assignment.’ The email said the allegations are not related to the operational readiness of the ICBM force or recent failed inspections of ICBM units.”
What this means is that the nuke commanders were terminated behind the scenes in a move that was not meant to hit the public eye — especially not the fact that the second in command was fired on the same day of the leaked nuclear transfer. More importantly, shedding light on the secret transfer of nuclear weapons and the numerous red flags that prove its validity is key in stopping the psychopathic control freaks in government from going through with Graham’s ‘warnings’ of a nuclear explosion that would lead to a war with Syria.
The highest level generals have now installed a new commander, Pentagon Air Force Commander Jack Weinstein, who may be willing to do the bidding of higher ups that the previous two nuke commanders would not.
Anthony Gucciardi is a writer, analyst, and Founder of Storyleak.com whose articles are routinely featured on top sites like Drudge Report and regularly appears on national and international television media.