Catchin' Some Zs in a Nuke Tube

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Is there any better indication that we've got to change the Cold War nuclear alert program we've still got in place than this awesome story:

BISMARCK, N.D. -- The Air Force discharged three North Dakota ballistic missile crew members who fell asleep while holding classified launch code devices, the military announced Tuesday. Officials said the codes were outdated and remained secure at all times.

The crew members were discharged last Thursday under orders from Air Force Secretary Michael Donley, said spokeswoman Laurie Arellano. They had been barred from working around nuclear weapons and classified material since the July 12, 2008 incident, she said.

Can someone please tell me why we have guys sitting in a tube 24 hours per day ready for a bolt out of the blue nuclear attack from the Soviet Union ... er, Russia? I can imagine the mentality of a nuke tube officer these days who must be asking him or herself what the heck is all this redundant process and alert mumbo jumbo for...

Not that I'm into troops falling asleep on duty. That's a major no-no and it seems from the story it was in a crew rest area. But these secret codes and keys and old-school 1980s processes have to be changed or more incidents like this are going to happen and increasingly degrade the morale of an important segment of our Air Force.

-- Christian

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