Then in March this year, it was discovered that nuclear warhead triggers had been shipped by mistake to Taiwan 17 months before, for what should have been helicopter batteries.
These successive Air Force blunders cost Chief of Staff Michael Moseley and Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne their jobs.
Commenting on the dismissals, US Defence Secretary Robert Gates pointed out that although problems in securing arsenal are not new – since decades ago, in fact – the current leadership should have identified and corrected them.
Actions, or lack thereof, that have established as age-old practices are not necessarily right. Or safe.
The notion itself of not fixing something if it is not broken ought to be re-examined in this light.