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US Air Force commander fired after grenade launcher ammo, machine gun go missing

(From left) Col. Jason Beers, 91st Security Forces Group commander, hands Maj. Winell de Mesa, 891st Missile Security Forces Squadron commander, the squadron guidon during the 891st MSFS Activation and Assumption of Command at Minot Air Force Base, N.D. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jonathan McElderry)
May 24, 2018

The commander of the 91st Security Forces Group at Minot Air Force Base was fired Wednesday after the loss of grenades and a machine gun in separate incidents, the U.S. Air Force announced Wednesday.

Col. Jason Beers was relieved by Col. Colin Connor, 91st Missile Wing commander, “due to a loss of trust and confidence after a series of events under the scope of his leadership, including a recent loss of ammunition and weapons,” according to the release.

On May 1, a container of ammunition for an automatic grenade launcher fell out of the back of a Humvee and could not be located after a two-week search for the ammunition in North Dakota. The Air Force also offered a $5,000 reward for information that would lead to the recovery of the ammunition.

On May 16, an M240 machine gun was discovered missing during a weapons inventory.

The ammunition and the machine gun have not been found.

Air Force Global Strike Command ordered a command-wide inventory check on all weapons due to the two incidents.

The 91st Missile Wing Security Forces team is responsible for protecting the intercontinental ballistic missile silos that are in use by Minot Air Force Base.

“Beers was responsible for ensuring the 91st SFG was trained, organized and equipped to secure 150 Minuteman III missiles and launch facilities, and 15 missile alert facilities geographically separated throughout 8,500 square miles of the missile complex,” the release said.