Nukewatch Quarterly Summer 2021
Maj. Gen. Anthony Genatempo, commander of the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center in New Mexico, told Air Force Magazine in June that replacing today’s Minuteman III missiles is crucial for the Air Force personnel “who have to be around that incredibly dangerous weapon system.” Genatempo said the things that keep him up at night regarding Minuteman missiles are heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems … that have never been replaced — and the failure of “which would take a missile offline for an unknown amount of time as it is fixed.”
Genatempo then pivoted and claimed that the long-range, land-based nuclear weapons are “safe and reliable.” He was trying to promote the Minuteman’s retirement and said, “We are building [the replacement] to be a 70-year weapon system….” Never mind the 1970 Nonproliferation Treaty in which the US pledged to pursue nuclear disarmament “at an early date.”
The general’s concern may be feigned, since even a computer failure that cut off contact with 50 Minuteman III missiles at F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming in October of 2010 was said by Lt. Gen. Arlen Jameson to have had “no real bearing on the capabilities of our nuclear forces…” inadvertently confirming that land-based nuclear weapons are obsolete and needless.