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Missteps In The Bunker -

By Ted Twietmeyer

I cannot express in words how awful a recent Washington Post story about the "lost nuclear weapons" is. This pack of lies can make one's blood boil, and was obviously written by:
A. Authors Warrick and Pincus don't have a remote clue about the actual handling of nuclear weapons
B. The Washington Post article is one big dis-information piece and rates as perhaps the worst piece of propaganda I've ever read in years. I'd like to think for now that Warrick and Pincus aren't part of such a blatant attempt at damage control. In fact, the innumerable inaccuracies are a total insult to any reader with even half a brain still working.
If it wasn't for my respect for the copyright notice of the Washington Post (hard as it may be) it would be prudent reproduce their article in its entirety. If you haven't read this abominable "piece of work yet (and you are not planning to eat today) check it out at the link below.
Be sure to come back and keep reading.
However, I will reproduce some short excerpts under the fair use law from the Warrick and Pincus article for clarity. Keep in mind that there is a STRICT chain of custody for ALL nuclear weapons. Nuclear weapons handling is spelled out in great detail in Air Force regulations, to the credit of the USAF. Every person who order the moving of these weapons, handles them, breaks seals or moves any nuclear these weapon must sign off for tracking purposes. US Airforce security personnel see to that. We are not talking about paintball cartridges or BB gun ammo here. These are NUCLEAR WEAPONS.
Let's begin with the Warrick and Pincus introductory paragraph:
"Just after 9 a.m. on Aug. 29, a group of U.S. airmen entered a sod-covered bunker on North Dakota's Minot Air Force Base with orders to collect a set of unarmed cruise missiles bound for a weapons graveyard. They quickly pulled out a dozen cylinders, all of which appeared identical from a cursory glance, and hauled them along Bomber Boulevard to a waiting B-52 bomber." [2]
Let's examine this statement: "Weapons graveyard. More nonsense. Obsolete nuclear weapons are recycled, they are not buried somewhere in a field like road kill. The extremely expensive Plutonium "pit" which is about the size of a softball (see below) IS the actual nuclear bomb which is recovered. The pit is surrounded by high explosive segments. Because of the extreme steady-state heat of the pit, explosive will dry out and become inert. Other parts of the weapon are salvaged, and what little is left over is shredded into small pieces and sold as scrap. It's also noteworthy that nuclear weapons are HIGH maintenance items.
Worth millions of dollars, and more precious than gold
A plutonium pit - the actual nuclear bomb element [4]
Plutonium pits have a hot steady-state temperature of about 400F. Pits from destroyed weapons are then stored in bunkers. It literally takes dozens of railroad cars of extracted uranium to make ONE Plutonium pit. Each is worth several million dollars. Again, all this no big secret it was on the Discovery Channel a few years ago on a documentary showing how weapons are decommissioned.
The Washington Post article goes on to say, "They quickly pulled out a dozen cylinders, all of which appeared identical from a cursory glance"
How do the authors know this? They certainly didn't get any information from those involved. "Identical from a cursory glance"? ALL weapons have serial numbers on them for identification and tracking. Airmen never can just "quickly" pull out a dozen cylinders. You don't move something "quickly" that weighs in around a ton. Especially since it contains HIGH EXPLOSIVE trigger and nuclear material.
Cruise missile being mounted under a bomber (Courtesy USAF website [5] ). Can you imagine anyone "quickly moving" something THIS big?
The US government told CNN on or before Sept. 6 2007 that SIX nuclear warheads mounted on cruise missiles were missing, NOT TWELVE. [1]
"The airmen attached the gray missiles to the plane's wings, six on each side. After eyeballing the missiles on the right side, a flight officer signed a manifest that listed a dozen unarmed AGM-129 missiles. The officer did not notice that the six on the left contained nuclear warheads, each with the destructive power of up to 10 Hiroshima bombs."
NUCLEAR weapons were mounted under wings for TRANSPORT? And the officer responsible for these weapons "did not notice the six on the left contained nuclear warheads." WHICH left side? If the pilot is in the cockpit, to his left is port and to his right is starboard. If someone is standing out on the tarmac facing the plane, left and right are reversed. Still the problem remains, there were NOT 12 WEAPONS. The authors may have been told by someone that the B-52 can support up to 12 weapons, so they went with that number. Let's not let facts get in the way of what really happened.
And it just keeps getting worse. The article goes on to say that it would be 36 hours before anyone noticed. UTTER NONSENSE. In the cockpit, weapon lights would be lit indicating the presence of the SIX weapons under the wings. AND the plane would handle quite differently, as the presence of the weapons will change the aerodynamic characteristics of the plane. I was told this by a retired USAF pilot.
The article also rambles on stating the Louisiana airbase "has no idea nuclear warheads were coming." More lies -- a FLIGHT PLAN had to be filed FIRST. Nuclear devices always warrant special handling. To state the destination airbase had no idea nuclear warheads were coming is a bald faced lie. As I've stated in my previous essay, there are safety officers, ordinance officers and everyone involved SIGNED OFF on the weapons. Who could possibly believe the pilot didn't know about the weapons?
There are LEAD SEALS on the containers the weapons are stored in. Cruise missiles are not just "sitting on blocks in storage" like a red-neck junk car without wheels in someone's backyard. They are kept in SEALED CONTAINERS with a crimped and numbered lead seal.
The following UNCLASSIFIED document was recently received from Guy S. Razer, LtCol, USAF (Ret.) which provides detailed information on how nuclear weapons are to be handled. He wrote me shortly after my first essay about this non-accident to inform me my statements were accurate, and he also provided supporting documentation for USAF security procedures for handling nuclear weapons.  I have included below just a few verbatim extracts from the 8 page document which was updated 4 Sept. 2007.
The document extracts below date back to 1991 and are probably based on even earlier versions.
NO-LONE ZONES-- No serviceman is allowed into the restricted areas alone.
TAMPER CONTROL PROGRAM -- Details how lead seals are to be made and documented. Seals detect covert theft of radioactive material (nuclear warheads) from weapons.
Sec. 1.3 Defines the requirements of any personnel who are permitted to handle nuclear weapons. It further states they must be certified to do so.
Sec. 3.3 Details the use of a video camera recording system to document seals.
"Nuclear Surety Tamper Control and Detection Programs Supplement" USAF document.
This Interim Change (IC) 2006-2 provides new/additional guidance regarding the definition and intent of the Air Force Tamper Detection Program, further clarifies the intent for MAJCOMs to develop and distribute sealing procedures and updates general information. A bar ( | ) indicates a revision from the previous edition.
1. Requirements and Procedures.
1.1. Tamper Control Program. The Two-Person Concept is central to nuclear surety tamper control measures in the Air Force. It is designed to make sure that a lone individual cannot perform an incorrect act or unauthorized procedure on a nuclear weapon, nuclear weapon system, or certified critical component.
1.2. Concept Enforcement. Each organization with a mission or function involving nuclear weapons, nuclear weapon systems, or certified critical components:
1.2.1. Identifies no-lone zones (where at least two authorized persons must be present during any operation or task).
1.2.1. (AFSPC) Apply Two-Person Concept procedures during training with non-war reserve assets to the extent necessary to maintain proficiency.
1.2.2. Enforces the Two-Person Concept
1.2.2. (AFSPC) Before entering a no-lone zone, brief personnel that the Two-Person Concept applies. Supervisors must ensure that individuals are aware of the location of all no-lone zone boundaries, location of certified critical components within the no-lone zone, emergency procedures, and methods for reporting violations and hazards. Do not use signs or devices externally that identify a building as a no-lone zone.
1.2.3. Develops procedures to limit entry to authorized persons who meet the requirements of paragraph 1.3.
1.2.3. (AFSPC) After entry into a no-lone zone, the supervisor/team chief of each authorized team controls individual team members within the no-lone zone.
1.2.4. (Added-AFSPC) After initial entry of an authorized Two-Person Concept team into a no-lone zone, a single, authorized individual may enter providing: (Added-AFSPC) The Sole Vouching Authority (SVA) identifies individuals wishing to gain entry to a no-lone zone, verifies authorization, and validates need for entry into the no-lone zone. Note: SVA is the representative identified as having responsibility for deciding who will enter the no-lone zone. Normally, this is the senior member of the first team entering the area. SVA may transfer between individuals provided the two individuals jointly identify
1.2.5. (Added-AFSPC) An area designated as a no-lone zone may be defined as the interior of a cabinet, a work bay or equipment bay; an entire structure or building, a junction box, a drawer, an area encompassed by an actual boundary established by painted markings, rope, or a fence; and in some instances, the interior of vehicles. Local commanders are authorized to enlarge a no-lone zone. This authority should be used sparingly and only when absolutely required. When used for unattended storage of nuclear weapons or certified critical components the no-lone zone must meet the requirements of AFI 31-101, The Air Force Installation Security Program, and AFI (Added-AFSPC) Any room, computer facility, vault, or similar area where certified critical components are repaired (operationally certified or decertified), manufactured, stored, or processed, is a no-lone zone. For an area in which maintenance is infrequently performed on certified critical components, establish a temporary no-lone zone with signs placed around the work area while components are present.
1.3. Team Requirements. (Refer to paragraph for criteria on foreign nationals.) A Two-Person Concept team consists of at least two individuals who:
1.3.1. Are certified under the Personnel Reliability Program (PRP), as specified in AFI 36-2104, Nuclear Weapons Personnel Reliability Program(formerly AFR 35-99 and AFR 40-925).
1.3.1. (AFSPC) Inspectors or evaluators who meet the requirements of paragraph 1.3. may form a Two-Person Concept team in the performance of their duties.
1.3.2. Know the nuclear surety requirements of the task they perform.
1.3.3. Can promptly detect an incorrect act or unauthorized procedure.
1.3.4. Have successfully completed nuclear surety training according to AFI 91-101.
1.3.5. Are designated to perform the required task.
1.4. (AFSPC) Violations to Report. Report violations of the Two-Person Concept, including emergency response, through the command post to the commander. The commander will ensure violations are investigated promptly. A Two-Person Concept team must ascertain if unauthorized acts were performed, inspect involved certified critical components, verify their status, and reestablish the integrity of the system. Accomplish applicable visual and functional checks for components that have such procedures established.
1.6.4. PRP Interim-Certified Personnel Restrictions. Two interim-certified individuals may not form a Two-Person Concept team. Also, do not allow an interim-certified member to pilot a single-seat aircraft loaded with nuclear weapons.
2. Tamper Detection Program. Seals help to verify that no one has tampered with or accidentally activated a certified critical component.
2.1. Sealing Requirements. Certain items must be sealed because either:
2.1.1. Air Force nuclear weapon system safety rules require it, or,
2.1.2. In the case of some certified critical components, seals protect their certification status while in storage or during transportation, as specified in AFI 91-105, Critical Components (formerly AFR 122-17).
2.2. Sealing Methods. Authorized sealing methods include:
2.2.1. Safety Wiring and Lead Seals. In this method, you place a lead seal on a safety wire connected to certain switches, covers, handles, or levers and impress the lead seal with a distinctive mark using a crimping device and controlled die. An unauthorized act breaks or alters the wire connection so that you can detect activation. Use this method only in no-lone zones.
2.2.2. Tamper Detection Indicators (TDI). In this method you place an approved TDI so that it will indicate when someone has activated or had access to the interior of a certified critical component. Once the TDI is installed, evidence of tampering is visible to the naked eye or can be detected through the use of special equipment.
3.3.1. (AFSPC) Where AFSPC directives do not cover a particular local situation, wings will develop local standard publications or checklists to ensure adequate control of certified critical components or nuclear weapons and application of the Tamper Control and Detection Programs.
3.3.2. Develop and distribute procedures for sealing, where appropriate. As a minimum, these procedural directives: State when and by whom seals can be applied and removed. (AFSPC) Units will designate personnel authorized to apply and remove tamper
detection indicators (TDI). TDIs will be applied and removed by a Two-Person Concept team when required by technical orders or directives. Establish controls for the handling, receipt, storage, issue, inventory, and disposal of TDIs (including all residue), controlled dies and self-locking, non-reversible seals. (example: roto-seals) (AFSPC) Develop local controls for handling, receipt, storage, issue, inventory, and disposal of TDIs not covered in technical orders, directives or this supplement. (Added-AFSPC) The Aquila Cobra Seal TDI-1 (ACSTDI-1) is used to maintain certification of the Missile Guidance Set (MGS) during shipment. Task-qualified personnel must install, remove, and verify the ACSTDI-1. (Added-AFSPC) The ACSTD-1 system kit requires special handling. The kit
which includes special tools, camera, printer, video disks, ACSTDI-1 bodies, and fiber
optic cables does not require special handling. Maintain the video disk used during the
ACSTDI-1 installation process under proper Two-Person Concept control until all information recorded on the disk has been properly verified by the unit receiving the MGS. Maintain the master pictures taken during the installation process under Two-Person Concept
control until TDIs on MGS shipping containers are verified by the receiving unit. (Added-AFSPC) Prior to shipping a certified MGS to another unit, ensure the
receiving unit has a copy of the master pictures taken during the seal installation process.
Transmit the master pictures by facsimile machine or overnight mail. Immediately upon
receipt of the master pictures the receiving unit will contact the sending unit via telephone to confirm that the pictures have been received and are under Two-Person Concept control. The sending unit will verify the caller,s identity by immediate call back. Accomplish this verification procedure prior to shipping the MGS. (Added-AFSPC) The sending unit must inspect installed ACSTDI-1s immediately prior to loading the MGS shipping container for shipment. The same inspection is performed upon receipt of the MGS. (Added-AFSPC) Dispose of the ACSTDI-1 by destroying the body and discarding it along with the cables.
I challenge anyone who, after reading this documentation, can state that the missing nuclear weapons were accidentally mounted under the wings of a B-52.
Without question the order to mount these weapons UNDER the wings of a B-52 came down FROM THE VERY TOP of the military. And he lives in a white house.
Ted Twietmeyer
NOTE: Since I have been writing about this story my website provider has suffered from cyber attacks and may termporarily be off-line. The matter is being resolved at this time. There is an old expression that "you get the most flack when you're right over the target."
[1] -- CNN quotes government sources that 6 were missing:
[2] - http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article
[4] - http://www.newsfrombabylon.com/files/
[5] - http://www.acc.af.mil/shared/media/photodb/


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