The Air Force on Monday fired two more nuclear commanders and disciplined a third, fresh evidence of leadership lapses in a nuclear missile corps that has suffered a rash of recent setbacks, including the firing last year of its top commander.
The most senior officer to be relieved Monday was Col. Carl Jones, the No. 2 commander of the 90th Missile Wing at F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming, in charge of 150 of the Air Force's 450 Minuteman 3 nuclear intercontinental ballistic missiles. He was dismissed "for a loss of trust and confidence in his leadership abilities," and has been reassigned as a special assistant to the wing commander.
Lt. Col. John Sheets, spokesman for Air Force Global Strike Command, which is in charge of the Air Force Minuteman 3 force as well as its nuclear bomber fleet, said that as a result of the Minot investigation a missile squadron commander, Lt. Col. Jimmy "Keith" Brown, was relieved of command Monday "because of a loss of confidence in Brown's ability to lead his squadron."
Sheets said the investigation "substantiated that Brown engaged in unlawful discrimination or harassment." He added that the probe found that Brown "made statements to subordinates that created a perception within his squadron that pregnancy would negatively affect a woman's career."
The second officer targeted in the Minot investigation was Col. Richard Pagliuco, commander of the 91st Operations Group, which is in charge of the three missile squadrons at Minot, including Brown's, Sheets said the investigation confirmed that Pagliuco "failed to promote and safeguard the morale, well-being and welfare of the airmen under his command." Pagliuco received administrative punishment in the form of a letter in his personnel file.
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