By Calvin Palmer
The missile wing commander of an Air Force base in North Dakota has been relieved of his command.
The Air Force says it lost confidence in Col Christopher Ayres’ ability to command Minot Air Force Base’s 91st Missile Wing after recent incidents.
Those incidents include the rollover of a semi-trailer carrying missile parts caused by the driver trying to swat a large insect that landed on his back. It was the second crash of a base vehicle carrying missile materials in just over a year
The Air Force said Ayres was not being relieved of command for any alleged misconduct or wrongdoing.
Air Force spokesman Andy Roake said the recent incidents at the base included vehicle rollovers, some instances of misconduct and the wing’s negative performance during a nuclear surety inspection.
The command’s action was the result of “various events that caused a loss of confidence in his ability to command effectively”.
Ayres had been the base missile wing commander since May 2008.
Two other officers were also relieved of their duties overseeing the wing’s maintenance units
We must uphold the highest standards within the nuclear enterprise,” said Gen C. Robert Kehler, commander of Air Force Space Command, in announcing the action against Ayres. “We must have complete confidence in our leadership as we continue the revitalization of the nuclear enterprise.”
Minot Air Force Base is the command center for 150 Minuteman III missiles and is one of the country’s two B-52 bomber bases
It seems the Air Force is not singing from the same hymn sheet. First the Air Force statement says no misconduct and then its spokesman says some instances of misconduct.
Come on, make up your minds. Which is it to be?