Friday, August 1, 2008


So I'm out and about yesterday when I get a text message from V. (edited)

"Before you hear about it, cause I'm sure you will... MMT personnel are ok, 'cept one guy who has minor injuries."

Now, just how fast did your heart jump to your throat??? Mine made a bee-line!

V couldn't talk at the moment, but called a few minutes later. Those few minutes and a call to my friend and AF Mom Lolly, who's seen more military and AF life than I ever care to, calmed me down so I could think straight. Thank you Lolly and your daughter, the Goddess among Goddesses! :) Hope your nails turned out great.

Evidently it had been raining for the past couple days at Minot and the dirt and gravel roads were muddy. Fine for a car or truck, but not for the biggest "sexy white truck" the AF owns, as V calls it. This truck carries the down-stages of the missile - no warhead - and it's filled with what else? Fuel.

Early yesterday morning the truck goes out on the drive to a silo, reaches the gates, the crew gets out (except one, which is the procedure) secures the truck with blocks, chocks etc, opens the site... to turn around and watch as the truck slides on the muddy gravel and rolls on its side.

The Airman in the truck escaped with minor injuries, thank goodness.

V says they did everything by the book. I'm sure that the investigation will show that there is no way to predict what that much weight and height will do on a mud and gravel road. Maybe they'll improve the sites by installing concrete pads? Who knows. I choose to believe that the Airmen followed procedure.

But then there's this. CNN is calling it "the latest in a two-year string of Air Force mishaps" in which "Air Force personnel handling nuclear weapons consistently failed to follow rules."

While that may have been true of the previous error(s), that doesn't seem to be the case here. This I believe, was an accident in the true sense of the word. All the blocking and chocking in the world isn't going to stop a 70+ foot long truck that tops 100,000 pounds from sliding sideways. That's just physics in action.

So POO ON YOU, CNN for casting aspersions on the fine men and women who were doing their jobs, handling a truck and missile stages and fuel, to prepare a missile that, if needed, would keep your sorry asses safe in your newsrooms!


Di said...

Ouch. Lea, I go through this a lot.. being part of an agency in which non-members feel like they have the right to spew uninformed and vitriolic opinions without having the slighest bit of understanding of what it actually takes to do the job.

I'm constantly conflicted, though, because police, and police officials, DO screw up. So how you do you be loyal to your agency, especially with the knowledge of how difficult and intricate the job is (and also that it's almost always a no-win job) and yet still have high expectations (and low screw-up tolerance) of people who have sworn to do the job?

It sucks... it sucks when the agency screws up, it sucks when the agency has a moment of incompetence, it sucks when the agency behaves perfectly, bravely, selflessly, and people 'on the outside' who have no freaking clue feel the need to make their voice heard.

Bah. Screw 'em all. :)

Tonjia said...

well consider the source Lea, CNN.

I am just thankful that all involved are safe. Accidents happen.

I really wish there was some way to corral the media these days. They are out of control..

Shar said...

Amen Tonjia. Consider the source :)