The bad news keeps coming for the United States Air Force.  This time, 17 officers have been stripped of their authority to control of (read “launch”) Nuclear Missiles because of a breakdown in command.

“We are, in fact, in a crisis right now,” wrote Lieutenant Colonel Jay Folds in an internal memo obtained by reporters.

The Air Force discovered the problem in March during an inspection of the 91st Missile Wing at Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota.  Airmen earned the equivalent of a “D” grade when tested on its mastery of Minuteman III missile launch operations.  The group's overall fitness was deemed so tenuous that senior officers at Minot decided, after probing further, that an immediate crackdown was called for.

Senator Richard Durbin, chairman of the Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee, said the report revealed a problem that “could not be more troubling.”

In recent days, the Air Force officer in charge of battling sex abuse was arrested for accosting a woman in a parking lot, and two three-star generals were revealed to have vacated the sex abuse convictions of two different officers.