Pentagon audit: 79 ICBM "Minuteman-3" were in the middle of nowhere

Pentagon audit: 79 ICBM "Minuteman-3" were in the middle of nowhere

While all the attention of the public who is interested in politics is focused on such burning issues as “who stole toilet bowls from the ingloriously hijacked boats of a country that steals someone else’s gas,” an article titled “Air Force's Inventory Listed Wrong Sites” appeared in the US on the website of Bloomberg for 79 Nuclear Missile "(" An inventory of the Air Force revealed the incorrect location of 79 nuclear missiles "). What happened?

Pentagon audit


Ernst & Young LLP, a world-renowned audit company, is currently executing an order for a full financial audit of the US military, more precisely, the United States Defense Ministry (Pentagon). Such an audit is conducted for the second year in a row.


Like last year, the Pentagon’s audit cost almost 1 billion, including 500 million to eliminate existing deficiencies, 250 million to create infrastructure for audits and 195 million to pay for services auditors. More than 1400 auditors were deployed as part of the project to track costs for everything from aircraft parts to Navy property and army payment transactions.

The Pentagon has already stated that "during the audit, no evidence of fraud or abuse was found, and in many cases it was documented that the serious flaws discovered last year were eliminated."

“We have made good, serious progress,” Elaine McCasker, acting chief controller of the MO, told reporters last Thursday.

However, this is not entirely true. For example, if last year almost 550 reports on problems that needed to be addressed were considered, then this year about 1800 reports on shortcomings prepared last year were reissued, and another 1300 reports on new problems were created. That is, the situation at least has not improved, and the mess has become even greater.

The company’s auditor general Glenn Fine said that “there are still no sufficient political measures, procedures and internal control mechanisms to implement the processes of acquisition, disposal and inventory of state property owned by contractors”.

“Despite the progress made, much more work needs to be done to improve financial management and get a clear audit opinion,” the inspector general said in a statement. “Clearly, the path to a clean financial statement for the US DoD is a long-term effort.”

For the second year in a row, “circulating assets” and “general funds” of the US Army (Navy), Navy, Air Force, ILC, Defense Logistics Agency, Special Operations Command (JUICOM) and the Ministry of Health of the Ministry of Defense received “refusals to conclude” from auditors. Disclaimer statements are issued in cases where auditors cannot form an opinion on the adequacy of the financial statements based on insufficient reliable data. McKasker said this does not mean abuse or misuse of funds. “We know where we spend our money, but sometimes our documentation“ is simply not where it should be, ”she said.

In principle, it may be partially right: in the practice of our Defense Ministry and the defense industry, there are also quite a lot of violations identified by the auditors of the Accounts Chamber, which, in general, are not embezzlement or theft or something like that, but are documents drawn up with violations of the law . But the problem we often have is that, due to a number of bottlenecks in the legislation of the Moscow Region, defense industry enterprises and enterprises of the military-industrial complex often have to make a choice: either do everything according to the papers clearly, but disrupt all deadlines, or get the order on time, but with violations. It is possible that in the USA there is something similar too. But, if you know the problems and absolutely wild prices for purchased weapons, equipment, etc. for the Pentagon, then a completely different explanation comes to mind.

However, there are improvements. For example, a military pension fund in the amount of 9 billion dollars received a “clean” opinion (no violations were found). Another significant improvement over last year’s findings is related to eliminating Pentagon information security flaws: supposedly 94% of problems from last year’s report were fixed, according to and. about. Comptroller McCasker. But auditors nevertheless noted that among the examples of “significant shortcomings” that have remained since last year are those that relate to the IT field, including “inadequate control over access, system changes and IT-system security management”. Significant shortcomings are shortcomings or a combination of shortcomings in the internal control system for financial reporting, “which leads to a reasonable likelihood that management will not prevent or detect and correct a material misstatement in its financial statements or waste”. This is stated in the report of the auditors.

Missiles of unknown location


Among the strangest and most flagrant violations there is one that is definitely unrealistic in our practice, but (if you know the situation with the strategic forces of the United States and especially with the missile wings of the Air Force) is quite familiar to the United States. During the audit, Ernst & Young experts discovered a number of major violations, one of which sounds very strange.

A report released by Ernst & Young last Friday said that when checking a widely used system in the US Air Force for collecting and storing data on aircraft, satellites, missile systems and aircraft ammunition, a “series of errors” were identified, such as the “79 ICBMs” "Minuteman-3" whose location is not firmly established, according to the documentation. "


If anything, then the 79 of the Minutemans is, in general, almost 20% of the available stock of these ICBMs, including 400 in mines and several dozen units of the exchange and repair fund and stock for combat training launches and launches under various programs (such as extension of terms operation, we have it reduced as PSE, they have as LEP). And according to the documents, you can’t exactly determine where they are! More precisely, their location is incorrectly established. Either they are, or they are not ... either they broke, or they sold to Israel. A joke, of course.

In fact, of course, the missiles are unlikely to be located anywhere else, except for silos in their three position areas or in a warehouse or repair base. Just when compiling reports on them, documents were drawn up, apparently "from the bulldozer", without looking and with violations. Although it is possible that the actual operational level of ICBMs is lower than stated, despite the fact that these Minutemans are largely a remake of the old missile anew, and even with some nodes from the much more modern MX ICBM, which has long been "laid back" . And missiles instead of mines hung at repair bases, but they forgot to report this.

However, the US Air Force spokesman, Captain Jacob Bailey, had already reacted to the embarrassment with a statement (though sent by e-mail) that "the Air Force has and retains full control over its ICBMs," and explained the situation by saying that the documentation was filled in "manually "and" did not have time to fix it. "

Yes, even with your foot they wrote - is it possible to behave so irresponsibly in relation to one of the main branches of the nuclear triad? But, apparently, in rocket wings this is in the order of things. If we recall the endless violations at the Air Force missile bases, where brave rocketers consider themselves to be "losers for life", who fall into a hole from which there is no way out, and therefore violate technical regulations, including when working with top secret information, they while on combat duty drunk or under the influence of drugs, and their commanders are regularly removed for low discipline and unresolved violations and their own sins ...

Blind moles and cruise missiles


As for the Air Force in general, we can recall history with AGM-129A cruise missiles, now also reclaimed. For some reason, these KR declared “invisible” and generally very perfect served for a very short time and were disposed of, while the “old women” of AGM-86 continue to serve, although their ranks have thinned out. This story is from 2007 and is very famous.

On August 30 2007 of the year, the Minot Air Force Base (North Dakota) to the Barksdale Air Force Base (Louisiana) were to be transferred to the storage of 12 AGM-129A cruise missiles with inert warheads. The heavy bomber B-52H, which had flown behind them from Barksdale, was planned to hang on the 6 KR on each of the pylons under the left and right consoles. Between 8: 00 and 9: 00 in the morning of August 29 in a storage facility on the Minot base, a group of US Air Force personnel began preparing the designated 12 KR for mounting on a bomber. But the 6 KR mistakenly turned out to be not practical, but nuclear warfare, with the standard W80-1 system. The personnel, however, did not follow the established verification procedures and did not notice anything. The officers who checked their work did not notice. Yes, and they did not check anything real. At about 9 o'clock in the morning the calculation of the tractor arrived at the storehouse, which without preliminary verification and without clarifying the fact of inspection of the missiles began their delivery to the aircraft. The military base management of the air base also did not reveal the fact that the missiles were not tested properly, and in 9: 25 signed the missiles for loading. The installation of rockets on the plane lasted about eight hours. After its completion, the plane without special nuclear protection provided by the carrier stood all evening and night on the concrete.

On the morning of August 30, one of the crew members of the B-52H made a thorough visual inspection of the missiles mounted on the pylon under the right console, which contained missiles with inert warheads, and did not go to look at the second console. Then he signed a document for the cargo and carried it for signature to the commander of the ship, who also waved without looking. The ship’s commander did not even conduct a visual inspection of the aircraft before departure (which is mandatory, even if an empty flight is planned for one or two circles above the base). At 8: 40 in the morning, the plane took off from the Minot air base and flew to Barksdale at 11: 23. And there the plane also stood for 9 hours without security. Yes, it’s not only the matter of protection, but also that the US Air Force, as well as Russia, have long abandoned the practice of flying in a normal peaceful situation with UBF on board - there could be unpleasant consequences in the event of a plane crash, and a new story with Tule or Palomares The Pentagon does not need. And then 6 missiles fly without any control over the United States, and no one knows about it.

In 20: 30 several officers and a group of soldiers and sergeants, technical specialists arrived at the parking lot for removal from the pylons of the Kyrgyz Republic. And then they discovered something was not right at once. They started shooting rockets from the console where the practical missiles were hanging. But after five days of imprisonment, as the famous joke says, the Indian Eagle Eye suddenly saw that there was not enough wall in his prison cell and ran boldly!

After an hour and a half of work, one sergeant turned out to be the same Indian and saw that the missiles under the consoles were different from each other. Yes, there the markings on nuclear missiles should be very noticeable, how could you not notice at all? After that, the officer, who commanded on the spot, reported to his superiors, he was alarmed, called security for the plane and reported to the central command post of the Air Force and the Pentagon. And there, the Minister of Defense and the President realized. A major scandal arose, which they tried unsuccessfully to hush up. We conducted inspections, revealed a bunch of violations, fired the commander of the Air Force Combat Command (which the strategic forces then obeyed), the wing commander, the MTO group commander, several more officers and 4 sergeants. Nuclear tolerances selected weapons all personnel of the support group and the wing and deprived them of the so-called certificates of trust. But no one was judged or imprisoned.

History itself has generated a bunch of conspiracy theories and theories, but conspiracy theories in this case have nothing to do with it. And since then, the situation in the nuclear sphere in the USA has not improved at all, the order has become less and less. In recent years, Americans have been trying to curb disciplinary problems in the triad, but, as we can see, it turns out so-so. A difficult situation with storage issues - we recall the recent scandal with the B61 bomb, which arrived for maintenance and rebuilding, turned out to be faulty, and for a long time, but according to the documents it was listed in perfect order and even passed all the necessary checks!

So one of the two nuclear superpowers may be in a situation where she looks like a crazy monkey with a grenade in her hand, who also suffers from sclerosis and blindness, and does not know whether the antennae of the safety pin are unbent and the ring is pulled out. But where would you move away from this monkey?
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