Sunday October 4th, 2015 7:47PM

Hagel says 'something is wrong' with nuke force

By The Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Vowing to look hard at signs of trouble inside the Air Force's nuclear missile corps, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Friday it's clear "something is wrong."

Hagel told reporters that he is confident the problems will get fixed and that the nation's arsenal of nuclear weapons will remain safe and secure. He said he will convene a high-level meeting soon to probe the problems.

At a Pentagon news conference, Hagel said the issues are complex and derive from a post-Cold War mindset that has reduced the focus on the nuclear weapons mission and led people to "just take for granted" that it will function correctly.

"This is cultural," he said, noting that the U.S. military has been intensely involved in fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan for more than a decade - conflicts with little direct relevance to the mission of nuclear warriors.

"Over the years I do think we have taken some focus off of the responsibilities of these very dedicated, very bright young officers" who operate intercontinental ballistic missiles, or ICBMs, stationed in five U.S. states, he said.

Hagel was commenting on the Air Force's dual investigations of drug use and exam cheating within its nuclear missile force, as well as a series of disclosures last year by The Associated Press about security lapses, leadership failures and other problems among those who operate and protect the Minuteman 3 missile force.

On Thursday, he announced that he also will assemble a small group of outside nuclear experts to study personnel problems within the nuclear force and to recommend remedies. Hagel has not yet said who will serve on that panel.
© Copyright 2015
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Judge denies motions to move, delay Tsarnaev trial
Lawyers for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev asked a federal appeals court Wednesday to overturn a judge's decision to not move his upcoming trial out of state.
10:02PM ( 9 months ago )
High court to adopt electronic filing of cases
The Supreme Court is belatedly developing an electronic filing system similar to those used in courts around the country, Chief Justice John Roberts said Wednesday in his annual end-of-year report.
7:57PM ( 9 months ago )
Storm brings snow, cold to West for New Year's
A blustery winter storm dumped snow and ice across the West on Wednesday, making driving treacherous in the mountains from California to the Rockies and forcing residents and party-goers in some usually sun-soaked cities to bundle up for a frosty New Year's.
5:19PM ( 9 months ago )
U.S. News
Grass fire impacts rush hour traffic on 985
Rush hour traffic on I-985 was slowed by a grass fire Wednesay afternoon with one lane closed while firefighters fought the blaze.
10:19PM ( 9 months ago )
Hall County conviction, sentencing to be reviewed by SCOGA
The State Supreme Court has agreed to hear the appeal of a Hall County man when they reconvene in January.
2:37PM ( 9 months ago )
Local/State News
UN is next stop for Obama after success with Iran, pope; top issues are IS, Syria, Russia
NEW YORK (AP) — Fresh from successes on Iran and with the pope, President Barack Obama still carried heavy burdens into critical meetings this week at the U.N. General Assembly.They include the threat...
3:31PM ( 1 week ago )
Stunning Congress, House Speaker Boehner announces plans to resign; tea party declares victory
WASHINGTON (AP) — Plunging Congress into deeper turmoil, House Speaker John Boehner abruptly announced his resignation Friday, shutting down a tea party drive to depose the nation's highest-ranking Re...
6:14PM ( 1 week ago )
Tornado heavily damages 10 homes but causes no injuries on island in South Carolina
JOHNS ISLAND, S.C. (AP) — A tornado quickly blew through a neighborhood on the South Carolina coast early Friday and blew out windows, knocked down trees and heavily damaged ten homes.The tornado touc...
5:08PM ( 1 week ago )
Caterpillar says it may cut more than 10,000 jobs by 2018, lowers 2015 revenue expectation
Caterpillar is planning another round of job cuts that could exceed 10,000 people through 2018, as the construction and mining equipment maker adjusts to downturns in key markets.That could amount to...
10:06AM ( 1 week ago )
Escaped tarantula grounds Atlanta-bound flight in Baltimore
An eight-legged creature that escaped in the cargo hold of a passenger flight from Baltimore-Washington International Airport to Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International grounded the plane and sent passengers onto another flight.
By The Associated Press
9:06AM ( 1 week ago )