Top Air Force leaders asked to resign

June 5, 2008 at 1:59 PM
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WASHINGTON, June 5 (UPI) -- The top civilian and military leaders of the U.S. Air Force were asked to resign Thursday over the branch's handling of nuclear weapons, officials said.

Chief of Staff Gen. T. Michael Moseley and Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne were forced out because they couldn't implement changes Defense Secretary Robert Gates expected, CNN reported.

Defense department spokesmen and the White House declined to comment on the developments.

Gates sought the resignations following a report about the Air Force's problems handling nuclear weapons, the Air Force Times reported. Moseley had been called to meet with Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to discuss the findings by Navy Adm. Kirkland Donald, director of naval nuclear propulsion, after which Moseley resigned. Military leaders traveled to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base to discuss the matter with Wynne.

Whether other senior officers would be affected by the Donald report remained unclear, the Times reported.

The asked-for resignations follow several scandals and disputes between Air Force leadership and Gates in the past year, during which Pentagon and congressional leadership expressed frustration about the Air Force's top leaders.

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