Caught My Eye…

If you don’t think every day is a good day, just try missing one. – Cavett Robert

Welcome to the big show to end the week “Caught My Eye” (CME)!

If you are a first-time visitor, CME is posted right here every Friday morning. This is when I take a look at some of the stories I did not have time to write about during the week. I often throw in a touch of sarcasm to make you smile – or to irritate you just a little – maybe both.

Topics that I am providing commentary on today include the Paris Climate Agreement & Trump, America’s Most Misspelled Words, REAL ID, the military, covfefe, and much more!

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Caught My Eye…

Thanks for stopping by for “Caught My Eye!”

If you are a first-time visitor, “Caught My Eye” is posted right here every Friday morning! This is when I take a quick look at some of the stories I did not have time to write about during the week. I often throw in a touch of sarcasm to make you smile – or to irritate you just a little.

Everyone and everything is fair game!

Today I write about Col. Robert Stanley, the Air Force’s “Bloody Thursday,” Shrimp Peel, Powder River Training Complex, National Monuments, Zombie Apocalypse, plus I have declared TWO winners who are Making Montana Proud!

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Pentagon Budget: Remain Calm

Don’t plan the parade because your military base or defense project wasn’t mentioned as something the Secretary of Defense planned to cut or curtail in his Fiscal Year 2015 Defense budget. On the other hand, don’t start drinking if your pet project or base or weapon system was mentioned by Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel during his press conference on Monday.

Most of it probably won’t happen – it was only a proposal:

pro·pos·al [pruh-poh-zuhl]
noun
1.
the act of offering or suggesting something for acceptance, adoption, or performance.
2.
a plan or scheme proposed.

The proposal put forth has to be approved by Congress – you remember the 535 class presidents who have bases and contractors in their states and districts? Those folks will have a big say in what stays in the defense budget and what goes.

A lot of people are up in arms (pun intended) after Hagel announced his budget. Some folks were already reporting the nuclear triad would stay intact. Some groups sent press releases via e-mail saying retirees would have benefits reduced. A lot of words were written and a lot of time was spent yesterday on the DOD’s proposed budget.

Even current Rep. and U.S. Senate candidate Steve Daines (R-Mont.) sent a *statement to the Great Falls Tribune (I could not find it on-line) saying, “[H]e is strongly committed to ensuring that our military is fully equipped to protect our country…”

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Did You Hear the One About…

…the nuclear missile officers who “allegedly” cheated on their tests and achieved some of the lowest scores of the year?

Yes, that happened.

According to the Associated Press (AP):

Last summer, when dozens of nuclear missile officers allegedly cheated on exams, test scores were among the lowest of the year, according to Air Force records obtained by The Associated Press.

The number of nuclear missile officers who either “allegedly” cheated or failed to report the alleged cheating at Malmstrom AFB near Great Falls, Montana, is about 92.

Throw in a pickup truck and a dog and we’ll have all the ingredients for a great country song.

The AP had to ask the question, “Were they inept cheaters?”

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U.S. Military: Food Stamps

It’s a pretty sad state of affairs when our country with a military force that is second to none has members eligible for food stamps.

CNNMoney.com reported on Monday that food stamp redemption at military grocers hit almost $104 million in Fiscal Year (FY) 2013.

Back in FY 2008, $31 million was spent at military grocers through food stamps. The amount spent has increased every year since.

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ICBM Forces: Close the Door!

There seems to be an on-going problem in the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) world these days, and that problem can be described in military terms as failure to pay attention to detail.

It does not appear that a shiny new checklist will correct the problem, either (that’s military humor in case you were wondering).

On Tuesday, the Associated Press (AP) reported, “Twice this year alone, Air Force officers entrusted with the launch keys to nuclear-tipped missiles have been caught leaving open a blast door that is intended to help prevent a terrorist or other intruder from entering their underground command post.”

One incident happened at Minot Air Force Base (AFB) in North Dakota; the other happened at Malmstrom AFB in Montana.

Of course commanders and the public affairs personnel at these bases will tell the public and the media that all is safe, secure, and that we civilians shouldn’t worry because everything is under control.

With so many screw-ups recently, that song is starting to grow old. In August, Malmstrom failed a nuclear inspection. In April, Minot failed a nuclear inspection. Something needs to change and to change quickly. Continue reading

“Loss of Confidence”

The news release from Malmstrom AFB’s 341st Missile Wing Public Affairs Office was carefully crafted and a little over 200 words in length. The first two sentences basically said it all. It also ended a career:

The 341st Security Forces Group commander was relieved of command Aug. 22.

341st Missile Wing commander, Col. Robert Stanley, relieved Col. David Lynch from command of the 341st SFG due to a loss of confidence in Lynch’s ability to lead his group.

Malmstrom officials were quick to point out that “Lynch’s removal is not a result of the recent Nuclear Surety Inspection failure. However, as the 341 MW prepares for a re-inspection, Stanley must have full confidence in the leadership ability of his commanders.”

The Great Falls Tribune also reported, “Lynch’s removal was not related to any misconduct.”

So what caused Colonel Robert Stanley (Malmstrom’s Wing Commander), to send a news release about a colonel being relieved from duty on a Friday afternoon, which led to his photo being pasted on Saturday’s front page of the local newspaper?  Continue reading