29.08.

2007: Incident Regarding the Unauthorized Transportation of Nuclear Warheads in the USA

2007: Incident Regarding the Unauthorized Transportation of Nuclear Warheads in the USA
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons/ Airmen secure an ACM cruise missile to a B-52 Stratofortress pylon during an alert generation exercise at Minot Air Force Base

Story Highlights

  • Historical event:
  • 29 August 2007
  • Six nuclear warheads were transferred from one base to another (B-52s were used), and the crew and the technicians allegedly didn’t know anything about it.

On this day in 2007, an incident involving the unauthorized transportation of nuclear warheads occurred in the USA.

It attracted great attention. Incidents of this type are known as “Bent Spear”. There is also the term “Broken Arrow” for incidents involving nuclear weapons which don’t have any chance of provoking nuclear war.

Six nuclear warheads were transferred from the Minot Air Base in North Dakota to the Barksdale base in Louisiana. Both bases had their bombers (the B-52 Stratofortress, which can carry nuclear weapons).

The six nuclear warheads were transferred from one base to another (the B-52s was used), and the crew and the technicians allegedly didn’t know anything about it. The warheads were mounted on the cruise missiles AGM-129 ACM (Advanced Cruise Missile), which were loaded onto the bombers in North Dakota.

They allegedly didn’t know they were carrying nuclear weapons, and found out what was happening once the missiles had been transferred to the Barksdale base. This means that the bomber flew over the entire continental United States (the Minot base is located near the border with Canada, and the Barksdale base in the southern U.S.), carrying nuclear weapons without any control prescribed for such transports.

After the incident, the former Chief of Staff of the USA Air Force (USAF) resigned.

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