Three weeks after the US Air Force began investigating the mistaken arming of a B-52 bomber with nuclear weapons, Defense Secretary Robert Gates has asked for an outside inquiry by a retired general who once commanded the strategic bomber fleet, an official said Thursday.
In the embarrassing incident, a B-52 mistakenly armed with six nuclear-tipped cruise missiles flew over several states on August 30. The missiles were mounted onto pylons under the bomber's wings, but the Air Force said there was never any danger to the public.
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