Col. Jason Beers was relieved by the commander of the 91st Missile Wing, Col. Colin Connor “due to a loss of trust and confidence after a series of events under the scope of his leadership,” including the weapon and ammunition losses, according to a release from Minot.
Chief Master Sgt. Nikki Drago, the superintendent of the 91st Security Forces Group, was also removed at the same time and for the same reason, 5th Bomb Wing spokesman Lt. Col. Jamie Humphries said in an email the following day.
A container of ammunition for an automatic grenade launcher fell off a Humvee on a Native American reservation May 1, Minot said, and about two weeks later, a weapons inventory on the base found an M240 machine gun was missing.
Even a $5,000 reward for information leading to the recovery of the grenades yielded nothing, and Minot called off the search. The Air Force’s Office of Special Investigations also opened an investigation after the 7.62 caliber machine gun’s loss, and the 5th Bomb Wing and 91st Missile Wing began digging through their weapons inventories to try to find it.
Earlier this week, Air Force Global Strike Command ordered a command-wide weapons inventory as a result of the two incidents.
The release also said Beers was responsible for making sure the security forces group was trained, organized and equipped to secure 150 Minuteman III nuclear missiles and launch facilities, and 15 missile alert facilities across 8,500 square miles.
Stephen Losey is the air warfare reporter at Defense News. He previously reported for Military.com, covering the Pentagon, special operations and air warfare. Before that, he covered U.S. Air Force leadership, personnel and operations for Air Force Times.