What's the problem?
If all the nuclear launch crews were asleep, surely we'd all be a lot safer.
In the latest cockup involving nuclear arms, three ballistic missile crew members fell asleep while in possession of classified launch codes used to launch nuclear attacks, the US Air Force says. Officials say the codes, which allow Air Force personnel to communicate with the missiles, were never compromised and remained …
break break. Prepare for authentication.
Usually that type of message coming through on the big red PA speaker would wake you up. Well, maybe not you, or me, I would sleep through WWIII (so my wife says), but surely it would wake one of them up ;)
No harm no foul. or we could just turn everything over to the WOPR.
These guys were not the ones who launch the missiles. Those guys were at their posts, awake (presumably), deep underground.
The three who fell asleep were at the silo to *change the codes*. I would guess that means they bring a big steel box that has the codes locked inside, go into the silo, take out the old steel box with the old codes and put in the new steel box with the new codes, and then head back to base with the old steel box. While waiting to return to base with the old codes, they fell asleep.
Sure, procedural mistake. But the codes were still locked in a box. They were still in a secure room, in a secure building, in a secure area. And while three fell asleep, there was a forth member of the team who was awake according to other reports.
I live about 300 miles from this base, so heard about it early this morning. I don't see the big deal. Three guys with *outdated* launch codes, locked in strong boxes only they had the code to (and that I assume were chained to their wrists), fell asleep in a very secure locked room above the silo while waiting for their transport to come pick them up and take them back to the base (after, I'm guessing, finishing their shift). So what's the catastrophe?
That is the problem. You are required to maintain what is called 'positive control' over those codes, even after they are outdated, until they are destroyed. Sleeping while in position of those codes is a failure to do that. It is just one layer of many that are used to safeguard the nuclear weapons and minimize exposure to unauthorized use, which is generally regarded as a very bad thing. Actual physical loss of these code might, at worst, make the weapons unavailable if needed. Loss with many other lapses could be much more dangerous, which is why a single lapse is treated so seriously. Never heard of a fourth member of the team, in any reports that I have read, but if there was, then there is some aspect to this story that is not being reported. The USAF is in the midst of fallout from several serious lapses in security, and apparently a significant lapse in overall judgment recently. It does not surprise this US Army veteran that this is happening to the least disciplined of our services.
Mines the one with the Big Red One on the shoulder.
What a non-happening... I wonder how many times this kind of stuff happens and nobody finds out.
"mistakenly loaded nukes onto a B-52 that few across the US"
If so, what the fearful Americans should spend their waking (and sleeping) lives fearing is not the "terrorists" attacking them, but their own air force doing "exercises" like this. You know, as in "I thought they were blanks! said the soldier looking at the bleeding crowd".
And I will tell you that we were NOT, I repeat NOT sleeping. What were doing in fact was three things. Bob was making sure the procedure of closing your eyes and kissing your ass goodbye was valid, Joe there had to piss so bad he had his eye closed and was hopping around (bet no one mentioned the hopping DID THEY??) and me? Well I just got a new pair of gag glasses with the eyes closed and the big nose. (heh, shouldve seen the commanders face. .PRICELESS). BUT, we were NOT SLEEPING. Just because the flyboys get to work from 10am-2pm everyday and have a mandatory 2 hour nap in there somewhere we all get labeled as slackers? Hell do you know how hard it is when your working with three guys after a night out in a secure, AIR-TIGHT facility? Damn the other week Bob ripped one so badly me and Joe about died. Now stop worrying about the nuclear codes, they are saf........zzzzZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
One of the crew members was not in the room with the other three at the time they fell asleep, the Air Force said.
Under standard procedure, the four-officer crew of the facility is supposed to keep the component secure until it is returned to the base. Ford said the crew took the component to a building above the facility and locked the component in a lockbox.
Then, three of the four crew members fell asleep.
The four member missile crew changed the codes in the underground launch control center during their watch and had gone "top side" to an above ground missile alert facility with the component containing the old codes to await transportation back to the main base, the air force said.
While awaiting transportation, they went into a crew rest area with bunks where they fell asleep, a violation of the rules, according to the air force.
UPI reports: "...the airmen took the component to a building above the facility, locked the component in a lockbox, then three members fell asleep. Protocol calls for at least two members to be awake while in control of the component."
So, turns out two were allowed to be asleep. The only violation was the third crew member who fell asleep.
Ah really I'm a bit puzzled by the whole "this is not a story" attitude. Firstly, it's funny. And secondly (and I'm glad to have a serviceman agree with me in this assessment) it's unnerving to me because of the implicit lack of discipline and procedure; perhaps I'm just a child of the cold war but there is a chill for me in thinking that anyone could fall asleep on a nuclear missile base, let alone when on duty and charged with the launch codes.
It's not about "zomg they could steal our missiles lolz" it's about the environment of a ballistic launch site with great big ICBMs in it descending to the level of the stock room in tescos.
As any manager knows, if they're sleeping on the job now then within six months they'll be coming in at 3pm and urinating at their desks. Long before that they'll have started whining about training days and being allowed to drink alcohol and masturbate at their desks.
If it's not newsworthy that a ten story stack of city levelling ordinance is being tended by narcoleptics then I'd best skip all the articles about security problems on some internet or other or who's laptop might catch fire... lolz, zomgz and failz not withstanding ;-)
And of course big missiles and their bases and their launch codes are nothing to do with IT, right?
First off, I'm not concerned. Who really gives a toss if 3 out of 4 (instead of 2 out of 4) fell asleep, in a secure room, with obsolete launch codes? Note me. Anyway..
I wonder how long they were awake? I have heard it is common in the military to have people up for very extended time, and have them take amphetamines to keep up. Maybe the uppers wore off and they fell dead asleep?
Seriosuly, if you really want to worry about security -- worry about Indian. Their nuclear weapons are stored in places where natives are at ware with one another. Tamil vs Hindi speakers, Nagaland (oriental indian vs brown indian). India is a 2nd version of Soviet Union. Half of its population is at war with eachother based on race, class, and religion.
Not counting the fact that Nagali (the untouchable) the 25% of the population are treated like subhuman -- they wouldn't mind doing the unthinkable.
Not sure about in the US but in the UK armed forces, that last line over radio would basically be a command to launch a heavy artillery attack. I was always told in the army to use SAY AGAIN if I didnt hear something clearly because of this...
so in the vein of that message
REPEAT, target chavsville UK
As an alumnus of both the U.S. Army *and* the U.S. Air Force, I don't object to the comment of my brother from the 1st Infantry Division. Having said that, I will point out that neither this lapse nor the flying-across-the-country-with-nukes to Barksdale AFB lapse would have happened in the old Strategic Air Command.
Make mine the gloved lightning with the motto, "Peace is Our Profession".
"As any manager knows, if they're sleeping on the job now then within six months they'll be coming in at 3pm and urinating at their desks. Long before that they'll have started whining about training days and being allowed to drink alcohol and masturbate at their desks."
There are places where you're not allowed to do that???
I believe the CRM-114 would be to blame here, the problem being that someone set it to POE instead of EOP, causing the beginnings of a global thermonuclear war. As a sysadmin, i would remove the possibility of human error, by making the setting of discriminator codes completely automated. I propose the use of a new, state of the art supercomputer called the 'WOPR' which will be linked directly to POTS lines all over the country (rollout starting in Sunnyvale, CA). This will give me the ability to remotely troubleshoot any problems, including having a completely bogus state bit set that causes the 'WOPR' to imagine the entire world is it's playground.
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