Gates fires air force chiefs over nuclear blunders
Gates said "a substantial number" of generals and colonels also face possible disciplinary action as a result of a mistaken shipment of nuclear weapons fuses to Taiwan
He said that incident, as well as the accidental transfer of nuclear armed cruise missiles from one US air base to another last year, were symptoms of a decline in the air force's standards and focus on the nuclear mission.
"In summary I believe these actions are required because the focus of the air force's leadership has drifted with respect to perhaps its most sensitive mission," he said.
Gates asked for and received the resignations of General T. Michael Moseley, the air force chief of staff, and Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne after receiving the results of an investigation into the Taiwan shipment.
Four fuses used to trigger nuclear warheads were inadvertently shipped to Taiwan in August 2006 as helicopter batteries.