Thursday, September 6, 2007

The B-52 story

I’m still somewhat befuddled over the story about the B-52 loaded with strategic Tomahawks that has been vaguely described in the media over the past few days. There is a certain ominous feel to this that I can’t put my finger on. What has perked my ears up is that this was an apparent unauthorized movement of nukes. They may move nukes around at Manzano or Pantex like so much produce at the farmer’s market but when it comes to loading up a 52 with nukes and flying them down to Louisiana for “dismantling” something is not looking, sounding or feeling right about this story.

I wasn’t a weapons dweeb when I was in the Navy. I was a monkey with an attitude, turning valves and sweating my ass off in the engine room, but I was on ships where the Navy could “neither confirm nor deny the existence of nuclear weapons” and that was the line we had to repeat as squids out on the town looking for a few drinks and a lot of fun. In other words, yeah, we had them onboard the ship/boat but those of us who weren’t Weps types didn’t know which missiles and bombs were tipped with a big boom and which had a little boom.

I remember that the process for an onload or offload of weapons was a real pain in the ass procedure and there were storage lockers where the MarDet guard looked serious as a heart attack. They don’t store nukes like you and I store light bulbs. Nukes are kept in special ammo dumps and lockers that are secured by a perimeter and pissed off looking Marines. No one gets in or out without a serious once over and getting the weapons out of that place is a huge evolution that is planned and signed off on all the way up and down the chain of command. There are convoys involved, armed Marines who have nothing better to do than shine shoes and blow your head off take part in it and look at sailors in dungarees as target practice.

You don’t just roll up to a nuke storage facility in a pickup truck with some multi-colored papers on a clipboard and tell Joe Shit the Ragman of the MarDet unit, “I’m here to pick up a couple of nuclear tipped Tomahawk cruise missiles for Col. Hardass. What do you boys got in stock for us today?” Approval up and down the chain of command is given or denied and the teams of men involved are numerous. In other words, those nukes didn’t just hop on those Tomahawks and wind up bolted to the rail in the belly of a B-52.

Why would a nuke squadron at Minot send their weps to Barksdale for dismantling? Did Barksdale suddenly become the rehab or reclamation facility for the Air Farce’s nukes? I thought Pantex in Texas did the warhead work, and if the maintenance was simply meant for the missile bodies, what in the world are they doing being shipped down to Louisiana with warheads still bolted on? Too many questions and too much “national security” signal to noise ratio to figure this one out.

Considering the fact that the neo-con vampires are still rabid for laying waste to the middle-east with nuclear weapons, with initial target practice being Iran, the story makes the hair stand up on my arms when I really think about it. Is the Air Force possibly staging nukes to Barksdale for use against Iran?

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