Kehler’s comments stood in contrast to the tone of a confidential email n which a senior officer at Minot sketched a picture of a troubled nuclear unit.
“We are, in fact, in a crisis right now,” Lt. Col. Jay Folds, a deputy commander at Minot, told subordinates April 12. His group is responsible for all Minuteman 3 missile launch crews at Minot.
In his email, Folds lamented the remarkably poor reviews the launch officers received in the March inspection.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel responded to the report on Wednesday by demanding more information from the Air Force. The service’s top general, Gen. Mark Welsh, said the problem does not suggest a lack of proper control over the nuclear missiles but rather was a symptom of turmoil in the ranks.
“The idea that we have people not performing to the standard we expect will never be good and we won’t tolerate it,” Welsh said when questioned about the problem at a congressional hearing on budget issues.