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Fired Air Force Colonel Wasn't Mellow Enough To Protect Nuclear Missiles
A leader of 250 security forces airmen who protect the nuclear missiles that could end all life on Earth as we know it has been fired for creating an “unhealthy command climate.”
On Tuesday, Lt. Col. Raymond Fortner was relieved of his duties as commander of the 741st Missile Security Forces Squadron at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana.
Fortner declined to comment about his relief of command, 341st Missile Wing spokesman Michael Whetston told Task & Purpose. News of Fortner’s firing was first reported by The Electric and Air Force Magazine.
Officially, Fortner was fired because he did not “uphold Air Force core values as a senior leader,” Whetston said in an email on Wednesday.
“He established and maintained an unhealthy command climate which failed to maintain the trust and confidence of his leaders and subordinates in his ability to accomplish the mission while treating people with dignity and respect,” Whetston said. “Lt. Col. Fortner was removed from his position due to a substantiated investigation, of a non-criminal nature, that confirmed he established and maintained an unhealthy command climate.”
No further information was immediately available about the investigation’s findings or what Fortner did to create a such a command climate.
Fortner will be assigned to another position at Malmstrom until he is due to move to another duty location, a base news release says. Maj. Cody Elliott will serve as the squadron’s interim commander.
Being fired is not a career-ender for security forces commanders. Col. Jason Beers went on to a job at Air Force Special Operations Command after he was relieved on May 23 as commander of the 91st Security Forces Group after his unit lost a box of 40mm MK 19 grenades and an M240 machine gun. (Investigators found the machine gun in an airman’s off-base home on June 19 while executing a search warrant.)
The DNA of a niece and nephew, who never met their uncle, has helped identify the remains of the Kansas Marine who died in WWII.
The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced that 21-year-old U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Pfc. Raymond Warren was identified using DNA and circumstantial evidence. Warren had been buried in a cemetery in the Gilbert Islands, where he was killed when U.S. forces tried to take secure one of the islands from the Japanese.
The Battle of Tarawa lasted from Nov. 20 to Nov. 23, 1943, and claimed the lives of 1,021 U.S. marines and sailors, more than 3,000 Japanese soldiers and an estimated 1,000 Korean laborers before the U.S. troops seized control, the agency said.
Arizona lawmakers are vowing to fight a plan by the Air Force to start retiring some of the nation's fleet of A-10 Thunderbolt II ground-attack jets — a major operation at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base — as part of a plan to drop some older, legacy weapon systems to help pay for new programs.
U.S. Sen. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., a former A-10 pilot, and U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, D-Ariz., both vowed to fight the move to retire 44 of the oldest A-10s starting this year.
During a press briefing last week, Air Force officials unveiled plans to start mothballing several older platforms, including retiring some A-10s even as it refits others with new wings.
MOSCOW/SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea, whose leader Kim Jong Un was filmed riding through the snow on a white stallion last year, has spent tens of thousands of dollars on 12 purebred horses from Russia, according to Russian customs data.
Accompanied by senior North Korean figures, Kim took two well-publicized rides on the snowy slopes of the sacred Paektu Mountain in October and December.
State media heralded the jaunts as important displays of strength in the face of international pressure and the photos of Kim astride a galloping white steed were seen around the world.
North Korea has a long history of buying pricey horses from Russia and customs data first reported by Seoul-based NK News suggests that North Korea may have bolstered its herd in October.
ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - A high-profile local Taliban figure who announced and justified the 2012 attack on teenage Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai has escaped detention, Pakistan's interior minister confirmed a few days after the militant announced his breakout on social media.
Former Pakistani Taliban spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan, who claimed responsibility on behalf of his group for scores of Taliban attacks, proclaimed his escape on Twitter and then in an audio message sent to Pakistani media earlier this month.
The Pakistani military, which had kept Ehsan in detention for three years, has declined to comment but, asked by reporters about the report, Interior Minister Ijaz Shah, said: "That is correct, that is correct."
Shah, a retired brigadier general, added that "you will hear good news" in response to questions about whether there had been progress in hunting down Ehsan.
The 7-day "reduction in violence" negotiated between the United States and the Taliban is set to begin on Feb. 22, an Afghan government official who spoke on condition of anonymity told Task & Purpose on Monday.
A temporary truce beginning on Saturday that would last for one week is seen as a crucial test between the Taliban, U.S., and Afghan governments that would prove all parties to a potential peace deal can control their forces. Defense Secretary Mark Esper declined to confirm the date on Sunday.
"That is a moving date because we are still doing consultations, if you will," Defense Secretary Mark Esper told reporters.