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2 Top Air Force Positions “YOUR FIRED”.

June 5, 2008 by  
Filed under Air Force News, Corpsman.com News

Wow!! 2 for the price of “1”!!  D/C

Top two Air Force officials resigning

NBC: Secretary refused to fire chief of staff so both are forced out

WASHINGTON – The nation’s top two Air Force officials are resigning, and military sources told NBC News Thursday that they were being forced out.

At the White House, press secretary Dana Perino said President Bush knew about the resignations of Air Force Chief of Staff Michael Moseley and Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne, but that the White House “has not played any role” in the shake-up.

Moseley, a general, is the Air Force’s top uniformed officer. Wynne is the top civilian official.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates last week told Wynne to fire Moseley but Wynne refused, sources told NBC. As a result, Gates took the unprecedented step of asking both men to resign.

Gates wanted Moseley out because of several different scandals plaguing the Air Force in recent months, the sources added.

Word of the resignations was first reported by InsideDefense.com and the Air Force Times earlier Thursday.

‘Resign or be fired’
After Wynne’s refusal, Moseley reportedly was told Thursday that he had to leave. “Top-level Pentagon officials gave Moseley the option to resign or be fired during a meeting this morning,” the InsideDefense.com reported, quoting an unidentified military official.

The Air Force Times noted that the resignations follow high-profile scandals and disagreements with lawmakers and Gates over the Air Force’s role in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

Susan Walsh / AP
Air Force Gen. Michael Moseley

Gates earlier this year publicly stated that the Air Force could dedicate more resources, especially unmanned drones, to those battlefronts.

Other controversies include the awarding of a contract for the Air Force’s elite Thunderbirds flying group and the service’s mistaken shipment of fuses for nuclear missiles to Taiwan in 2006, a congressional source who had been informed about the matter told Reuters.

“There has been a lack of accountability that raised concerns,” the source said.

More resignations to follow?
Sources told the Air Force Times that other senior officers could also be relieved.

A public announcement was expected later in the day. There was no immediate word on who would be nominated to replace Moseley and Wynne.

The Air Force has endured a number of embarrassing setbacks over the past year. In August, for instance, a B-52 bomber was mistakenly armed with six nuclear-tipped cruise missiles and flown across the country. The pilot and crew were unaware they had nuclear arms aboard.

The error was considered so grave that President Bush was quickly informed.

Moseley later announced that in response to flaws exposed during the nuclear weapons error, the Air Force would change the way bomber crews organize for their nuclear training mission.

Gates also has been trying to learn more about how fuses for Air Force ballistic missiles were mistakenly shipped to Taiwan. Gates was briefed last week on the conclusions of an internal investigation of that matter but the results have not been made public.

Four cone-shaped electrical fuses used in intercontinental ballistic missile warheads were shipped to the Taiwanese instead of the helicopter batteries they had ordered. The fuses originated at F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne, Wyo., but the mix-up apparently occurred after the parts were shipped to Hill Air Force Base in Utah.

Authority ‘compromised,’ senator said
In another incident, the Pentagon inspector general found in April that a $50 million contract to promote the Thunderbirds aerial stunt team was tainted by improper influence and preferential treatment. No criminal conduct was found.

Moseley was not singled out for blame, but the investigation laid out a trail of communications from him and other Air Force leaders that eventually influenced the 2005 contract award. Included in that were friendly e-mails between Moseley and an executive in the company that won the bid.

“It is my sense that General Moseley’s command authority has been compromised,” Sen. Claire McCaskill, a Missouri Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said at the time.

Moseley became Air Force chief in September 2005; Wynne took office in November 2005.

Wynne is the second civilian chief of a military service to be forced out by Gates. In March 2007 the defense secretary pushed out Francis Harvey, the Army secretary, because Gates was dissatisfied with Harvey’s handling of revelations of inadequate housing conditions and bureaucratic delays for troops recovering from war wounds at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

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