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'Force Improvement Program' underway at Air Force nuclear bases

The Commander of the Global Strike Command says has announced what he’s calling a “force improvement program” – in the wake of concerns about some of the Air Force personnel at bases responsible for nuclear missiles and B-52 bombers.

This comes in the wake of recent problems that have come to light – including dozens of Air Force officers cheating on exams. Air Force Lt. General Stephen Wilson says he’s been asked by his superiors – including the Secretary of Defense – to come up with an action plan to address any problems. Wilson told the Minot Military Affairs Committee that he’s named four teams of 10 to 15 people to look at how the nuclear mission is done. The teams will include an ops team, a security force team, a maintenance team and a mission support team. Wilson says the teams will include experts in the field - from inside and outside the Air Force.

"It's a grassroots level effort," said Wilson. "It's to get after those things causing frustrations or personnel not being able to do the mission as well as we like to do it."

Wilson says the teams will work quickly to make their assessments and recommendations.

"You'll see some changes -- positive changes -- come out of this," said Wilson. "It'll span the spectrum of how we assess to how we train, how we ma, some of the incentives and some of the infrastructure issues."

Wilson says there is some pressure to get this done. He says the Secretary of the Air Force told him that we wants weeks, rather than months, to get the report done. And Wilson says the Secretary of Defense wants a report within 60 days.

"I got plenty of urgency," Wilson joked.

On another topic, Wilson says the two wings based at Minot Air Force base are outstanding units that do their jobs well. Those wings are the 5th Bomb Wing and the 91st Missile Wing. He says in all cases, the two wings scored "excellent" and "outstanding."

"There are some really good things going on here," said Wilson. "They just verified and validated what I know -- great airmen, doing a terrific mission that's incredibly important for our nation. And they do it 24-7."

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