Chief of Staff of the Air Force T. Michael Buzz Moseley is sacked his EO Brig. Gen. Thomas L. Tinsley suicides, nuclear bombs, more deaths
Those who read the recent post Sunday, July 20, 2008 SLICC and Air Force graft - "Buzz" Mosley KBE gets sacked - a tangled tale of incompetence will be up to speed on the reasons for the abrupt departure on 5 June 2008 Chief of Staff of the Air Force T. Michael Buzz Moseley after he was provided with the limited options by the Department of Defense of either resigning or being fired. He , along with Air Force Secretary Michael W. Wynne, the agency’s civilian head, were held accountable for failing to fully correct an erosion of nuclear-related performance standards.
This was directly related, it was publicly stated ,to Six AGM-129 ACM cruise missiles, each loaded with a W80-1 variable yield nuclear warhead, were mistakenly loaded on a United States Air Force (USAF) B-52H heavy bomber at Minot and transported to Barksdale. The nuclear warheads in the missiles were supposed to have been removed before taking the missiles from their storage bunker... although the the SLICC, the Senior Leader In-transit Conference Capsule was in there somewhere.
A Death is reported
Folks die every day. The sudden and unexpected death of Brig. Gen. Thomas L. Tinsley, Commander of Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska who suffered a gunshot wound to his chest late last Sunday night and was pronounced dead within a half hour, is perhaps more remarkable than most.
Tinsley’s wife and college-age daughter were home at the time.
Col. Richard Walberg, who assumed temporary command at Elmendorf Air Force Base after Tinsley’s death said the weapon used was "likely a handgun".
Tinsley was named base commander in May 2007. He had served as an F-15 instructor pilot, F-15C test pilot, wing weapons officer, exchange officer and instructor with the Royal Australian Air Force.
Perhaps of greater interest to those interested people who find these things of interest was his previous 22-month assignment as executive officer to the Air Force chief of staff, Gen. T. Michael “Buzz” Mosely.
Representatives of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology will do a report and declare whether Tinsley’s cause of death was suicide, Walberg said. Such reports take about 30 days.
Walberg said Tinsley was not under investigation or undue stress. See here at Celtic Diba's Blue Oasis Regarding the death of BG Thomas Tinsley--I don't know what the Air Force considers "undue stress"... ..."The most encompassing of these issues (and one that has already led to other high-ranking resignations and suicides) involve the Air Force procurement procedures and some of the projects. One of the most controversial of those is the SLICC, the Senior Leader In-transit Conference Capsule...changed (during BG Tinsley's watch) from the "Comfort Capsule.""
They also make the fascinating point that ..."the day after BG Tinsley's death there were Hearings conducted by the Senate Committee on Armed Services related to the nominations of Michael Donley as the new Air Force Secretary and Gen. Norton Schwartz to be the AF chief of staff.
There were also more hearings related to "confidential matters" scheduled for two days afterwards (Air tanker procurement ?) .We'll never know whether or not BG Tom Tinsley was contacted to participate in any of those. We'll never know if he received information of potential testimony in future investigations. Even if that is not the case, it's rather foolish to say that Tinsley was not under any "undue stress" when logic dictates otherwise."
“As far as stress, sir, this job, by nature of being an Air Force officer in a nation at war, is stressful,” Wallberg said. “Undue stress, no.”
Col. Thomas Bergeson is the former chief of the Aviation Division of Multinational Forces in Iraq.
and has taken over the post of Brig. Gen. Thomas Tinsley. Bergeson was supposed to head to North Carolina to lead a fighter wing there but was reassigned after Tinsley's death.
A God forsaken place in Alaska must have been a real buzz to Tinsley and his family after EO to the Head of the Air Force in Washington ?
Well up to a point Lord Copper
Those with capacious (even capricious) memories might recall an article by Dave Lindorff - The Mystery of Minot: Loose nukes and a cluster of dead airmen raise troubling questions - which first appeared in the October 22nd Issue of the American Conservative magazine or may have stumblled across it in the Baltimore Chronicle November 21st 2007.
Dave Lindorff is co-author, with Barbara Olshansky, of The Case for Impeachment The Legal Argument for Removing President George W. Bush from Office (Amazon) . His work is available here
The article covers what was then known of the incident when a a B-52H Stratofortress armed with six nuclear-tipped AGM-29 Advanced Cruise missiles, left Minot AFB for Barksdale AFB In Louisiana ... and nobody noticed for 36 hours.
Air Force Gen. Eugene Habiger, who served as US Strategic Command chief from 1996 to 1998, told the Washington Post (Sept 23rd 2007) , “I have been in the nuclear business since 1966 and am not aware of any incident more disturbing.”
This Air Force forum has some intersting observations from experienced (claimed) crewmen about handling nuclear tipped weapons.
Perhaps, as disturbing says the American Conservative, is that more than a month after the incident, Pentagon investigators had completely ignored a peculiar cluster of six deaths, during the weeks immediately preceding and following the flight, of personnel at the two Air Force bases involved in the incident and Air Force Commando Operations headquarters.
Sufficient to outline what is known here , read the article for the full stories ...
On July 20, 1st Lt. Weston Kissel, a 28-year-old B-52 pilot from Minot, died in a motorcycle accident while on home leave in Tennessee.
20-year-old Adam Barrs, another Minot B-52 pilot (at 20 years old ?) , died on July 5 in Minot when a car he was riding in, driven by another Minot airman, Stephen Garrett, went off the road, hit a tree, and caught fire. Airman Garrett was brought to the hospital in critical condition and has since been charged with negligent homicide.
Two more Air Force personnel, Senior Airman Clint Huff, 29, of Barksdale AFB, and his wife Linda died on Sept. 15 in nearby Shreveport, Louisiana, when Huff reportedly attempted to pass a van in a no-passing zone on his motorcycle, and the van made a left-hand turn, striking them.
2 reported suicides also took place within days of the rogue flight - Todd Blue, a 20-year-old airman who was in a unit that guarded weapons at Minot *" a response force member assigned to the 5th Security Forces Squadron") . He reportedly shot himself in the head on Sept. 11 while on a visit to his family in Wytheville, Virginia. Local police investigators termed his death a suicide.(Air Force Times) (Wordpress blogs about Todd Blue) Lt. Col. Paul Wheeless, the commander of the 5th Security Forces Munitions Squadron was fired as a result of the nuclear armed B 52 flight. The Minot AFB website has an interesting article by Lt Col Paul wheelas on November 11th 2006 about Service discipline and standards.
The second suicide, on Aug. 30, was John Frueh, a special forces weather commando at the Air Force’s Special Operations command headquartered at Hurlburt AFB in Florida. Hurlburt’s website says, “Every night, as millions of Americans sleep peacefully under the blanket of freedom,” Air Force special Operations commandos work “in deep dark places, far away from home, risking their lives to keep that blanket safe.” Frueh was a veteran of special forces combat operations in Afghanistan and Iraq
Frueh, 33, a married father of two who had just received approval for promotion from captain to major, reportedly flew from Florida to Portland, Oregon, for a friend’s wedding.
He never showed up. Instead, he called on Aug. 29, the day the missiles were loaded, from an interstate pull-off just outside Portland to say he was going for a hike in a park nearby. (It is not clear why he was at a highway rest stop as he had no car.) A day later, back in Portland, he rented a car at the airport, again calling his family.
After he failed to appear at the wedding, his family filed a missing person’s report with the Portland police.
The Sheriff’s Department in remote Skamania County, Washington, found Frueh’s rental car ten days later on the side of a road nearly 120 miles from the airport in a remote area of Badger Peak. Search dogs found his body in the woods. His death was ruled a suicide, though neither the sheriff’s investigator nor the medical examiner would give details. What makes this alleged suicide odd, however, is that the sheriff reports that Frueh had with him a knapsack containing a GPS locator and a videocam—odd equipment for someone intent on ending his life.
However Lindorff doesn't make it clear , however mystwerious Frueh's death was, what connection he had with barksdale of the flight from Minot.
Frueh's last reported phone call at Portland airport came on the same day, August 30, of the Minot / Barksdale B 52 . Frueh's position in the headquarters of the U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command "weather operations" would have given him access to a highly classified information. (Wayne Madsen)
More details / news reports of deaths at cryptogon