U.S.A. Mistakenly Sends Missile Parts To Taiwan

OK, this is one of those Oh MY GOD moments where you just have to wonder at all the missteps taken for this to happen! When I heard the story tonight I just couldn’t believe it. This is another one for *Military Intelligence*. Enjoy!

U.S. says missile parts mistakenly sent to Taiwan

WASHINGTON (CNN) — The U.S. Defense Department accidentally shipped ballistic missile components to Taiwan, the Pentagon said Tuesday.

A U.S. Defense Department image shows the missile components it says were accidentally shipped to Taiwan.

Four nose-cone fuses for intercontinental ballistic missiles were shipped instead of the helicopter batteries that Taiwan had requested, Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne said.

The fuses were shipped to Taiwan in fall 2006 and kept in a warehouse there. The Taiwanese military informed the United States last week about their presence on the island.

“There are no nuclear or fissile materials associated with these items,” Wynne said. “The United States is making all appropriate notifications in the spirit of candor and openness in an effort to avoid any misunderstanding.”

arttriggerdod.jpg

Video Watch Wynne describe the fuses »

An investigation is under way, he added. Video Watch how missile parts ended up in Taiwan »

Ryan Henry, principal deputy undersecretary of defense for policy, said, “In an organization as large as DOD, the largest and most complex in the world, there will be mistakes. But they cannot be tolerated in the arena in strategic systems, whether they are nuclear or only associated equipment, as was in this case.”

Henry said the parts were 1960s technology, designed for use with Minuteman ballistic missiles.

Officials said China, which considers Taiwan to be a renegade province, has been notified about the mistake.

The Chinese government did not immediately issue a response to the news.

Wynne said the missile components were first shipped from F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming to Hill Air Force Base in Utah in 2005.

On arrival at Hill, they should have been placed in the classified storage section, Wynne said, but instead were moved to a storage area for unclassified items.

He said stocks at the Utah base should be checked quarterly and a key part of the investigation will be determining how those checks did not turn up the missile parts before they were shipped to Taiwan.

It is the second nuclear-related mistake involving the Air Force in less than a year. In August, a B-52 bomber mistakenly carried six nuclear warheads from North Dakota to Louisiana. A six-week investigation uncovered a “lackadaisical” attention to detail in day-to-day operations at the air bases involved.

The Air Force said it relieved four officers, including three colonels, and other personnel lost their certification to handle sensitive weaponry.

Taiwan ordered batteries for helicopters and got nuclear fuses instead! And they didn’t know they were gone for over a year and a half! Can you say reverse engineering? Gosh, I don’t know what we’d have to worry about here!

The Pentagon calls it,” Positive Control”. Now, I’m not sure what you think of this, but this in no way reassures me in the least. These are used on ICBMs! One would think they would keep a tad bit better eye on things huh?

Two serious mistakes by the military if you ask me! And this is the same Air Force that wants to give away our Defense Contracts to foreign contractors??? Someone please tell me there is some oversite somewhere! These fools cannot be counted on to find their own socks and we think they can do a good job in military contracts?

Lou Dobbs also waded in on this issue:

The Pentagon admitting a serious shipping mistake, the U.S. Air Force sent intercontinental ballistic missile parts to Taiwan instead of the helicopter batteries that Taiwan had requested. And the Taiwanese have been complaining to the Pentagon for more than a year now that they didn’t receive the correct parts.

Barbara Starr has our report.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENTU.S. just figured it out last week. Components for nuclear missiles are the most heavily guarded items in the U.S. military inventory. No nuclear material was sent to Taiwan. (voice-over): The Pentagon says it mistakenly sent fuses, crucial parts for Minuteman III (ph) intercontinental ballistic missile to Taiwan in 2006 and the

MICHAEL WYNNE, AIR FORCE SECRETARY: Fuse assembly is a battery- powered electrical fuse. I’d like to point out that the assembly is classified when it’s real.

STARR: Four of the fuses were shipped. The Minuteman is topped by up to three nuclear warheads, each containing a fuse device of the type sent to Taiwan. The device sends an electrical signal to trigger the nuclear warhead. Aides say a furious Defense Secretary Robert Gates has ordered an unprecedented inventory of all nuclear weapons and equipment. Ryan Henry is deputy undersecretary.

RYAN HENRY, DEPUTY UNDER SECY. OF DEFENSE: In an organization as large as DOD, the largest and most complex in the world, there will be mistakes. But they cannot be tolerated in the arena of strategic systems.

STARR: It was just six months ago the Air Force accidentally flew six nuclear-armed missiles across the country. After that, Gates10 Air Force inventories. was assured by the military it had fixed its problems. Defense officials tell CNN the fuses should have been accounted for in any one of

Instead, they went to Taiwan, which actually had ordered helicopter batteries. When the mistake was finally realized, alarm bells rang at the highest levels.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When informed this past Friday morning, the secretary directed the immediate return of the equipment to U.S. custody, and (INAUDIBLE) control. The president was subsequently notified that day.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

STARR: Taiwan, Lou, did try and tell the Pentagon for months that they had shipped them the wrong parts. And even equally embarrassing, yesterday the Pentagon had to call in the ambassador from China and explain to the Chinese about this mistake.

Of course, that could not be more difficult for the Pentagon. It already has a strained relationship with the Chinese and, of course, the Chinese are constantly upset about U.S. arm sales to Taiwan — Lou.

DOBBS: So, if I understand this correctly, I guess there wasn’t really a big urgent need on the part of Taiwan for those helicopter batteries if it took this long to figure it out?

STARR: Well, you know, according to the sources we have spoken to, there had been fairly constant communication with the Taiwanese for months.

DOBBS: Just curious. Does the top Pentagon — did those top Pentagon officials, do they have like a receive or is it just transmit on their telephones?

STARR: You know, Lou, the bottom line is some days you just shake your head about what goes on around here.

DOBBS: And they had to tell the Chinese about this. Now, that must have been a big deal. Why did they feel they had to tell the Chinese about this?

STARR: Well, that is really the very significant issue, to cut to the bottom line here. The U.S., of course, already has a very strained relationship with the Chinese military. There has been some level of mistrust between both sides. And the Chinese, of course, constantly are very concerned about U.S. security policy towards China and towards Taiwan.

DOBBS: Well, what I’m confused about, are they concerned that the Chinese would have taken it as threatening that we sent these ICBM (ph) parts to Taiwan or were they concerned that the Chinese might think that the United States military, in particular, the U.S. Air Force, was so stupid as not to know what was going on with its strategic assets and therefore might constitute a threat to not only China but indeed the world?

STARR: I might step out on a limb here and suggest the China might have been worried about both of those cases. But the fact is the U.S. felt it had an absolute obligation for transparency to the world community that it made this mistake. The really serious issue now is what does Bob Gates do about this and are heads going to roll?

DOBBS: And how many levels of officers should be fired? I think that would be the open question here. That accountability thing, one would think.

Thank you very much, Barbara Starr, as always. Barbara Starr from the Pentagon.

I really don’t think I have anything to say to this. Seems it has all been said for me. I guess if the Commander and Chief is as dumb as a box of rocks, those down level from him can’t be much smarter.

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~ by justmytruth on March 26, 2008.

2 Responses to “U.S.A. Mistakenly Sends Missile Parts To Taiwan”

  1. I guess they didn’t need the parts until then. Scary thing is, how do we know it took them that long and what else has been sent there *by mistake*???? I will assume this is a “saving face” article for the military. A few did get disciplinary action, but I doubt that took care of the problem.

  2. My question is why is the Taiwan folks so long to realize they didn’t get what they ordered over 18 months ago!!! Don’t you think they would have checked the delivery to make sure they got not only WHAT they ordered (helicopter batteries) but the correct amount as well? Do they really want us to believe it took them 18 months to open the box and discover the error? Worse is that the claim is the error was discovered after Taiwan called complaining they still hadn’t received the helicopter batteries ordered over 18 months ago.

    Seems a tad fishy to me………….but then I’m skeptical as all hell these days where governments are concerned.

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