Air Force Secretary Returns to Minot - KFYRTV.COM - Bismarck, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Air Force Secretary Returns to Minot

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Just 6 months after her first visit, Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James was back in the Magic City. The stop at Minot Air Force Base was the last on her tour of the nation's three nuclear bases.

Secretary James was checking the progress made at the bases in the wake of 34 nuclear launch officers being reprimanded in January for cheating on a proficiency test at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana. The incidents brought forward several underlying issues that had become major problems. Secretary James says it was time to overhaul the culture of nuclear training. “The overall story is we had here i though a culture that was too micro-managing, that was so focused on zero defects that it didn't allow for a healthy training environment. A healthy training environment means you need to go into a learning environment, you have to continually improve, you have to learn from your mistakes. Mistakes are okay in a training environment, that's how you get better,” stated Secretary James.

The Secretary also spoke about the newly implemented Force Improvement Program that will re-organize the Operations Group and will put in place new procedures... and evaluations of ICBM operations. The Program is also bringing millions more in funding to the Air Force. She said, “We've redirected money towards the nuclear enterprise, so specifically we're redirecting $50 Million Dollars in FY14. This is $50 Million up and beyond what we would've spent otherwise for this force. And $350 Million additional dollars over the next five years.”

Secretary James said there is going to be a bigger focus on developing future nuclear leaders, and that the Air Force will come to be known as a place of continual learning, and continual development.

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