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Air Force's push to fix what ails the nuclear missile force features ideas tried 5 years ago

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FILE - This Jan. 9, 2014 file photo shows a mockup of a Minuteman 3 nuclear missile used for training by missile maintenance crews at F. E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyo. In launching an ambitious campaign to boost morale in a troubled nuclear missile corps, the Air Force is retracing steps it took at least five years ago, revisiting proposed reforms that either died on the vine or fell short of fixing problems that persist. The earlier effort included some of the same ideas being floated today by a new set of Air Force leaders, including bonus pay and other incentives meant to make more attractive the work of the men and women who operate, maintain and secure an Air Force fleet of 450 Minuteman 3 nuclear-tipped missiles. Then, as now, the Air Force also looked for ways to eliminate “disincentives” -- things that can make missile duty onerous. (AP Photo/Robert Burns, File) (The Associated Press)

Five years ago the Air Force considered a series of proposals to boost morale and fix other problems in its nuclear missile corps, according to internal emails obtained by The Associated Press. But many fell short or died on the vine.

Now, with the force again in crisis, the Air Force is retracing those earlier steps.

The new effort is more far-reaching, on a tighter timetable and backed by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.

As a result, this new approach appears to hold more promise for an Air Force under scrutiny after a series of embarrassing nuclear setbacks and missteps.

The earlier effort was launched in 2008-09 and included some of the ideas being floated today by a new set of Air Force leaders, including bonus pay and other incentives.

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