Minot Air Force Base Airman Died While on Leave

September 14th, 2007

UPDATE: Scroll Down for More Minot Air Force Base Deaths

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Remember the one about the B-52 bomber that, according to legend, had six nuclear weapons loaded onto it by accident, which, of course, could not have happened—by accident—for a dozen different reasons, or more.

Airman 1st Class Todd Blue was assigned to the unit that provides security for that bomber wing at Minot Air Force base. He died while on leave in Virginia. No further details have been released.


Was he on duty when those nuclear weapons were loaded onto the B-52, “by accident”? If anyone has any further information on this, please let me know.

I expected to see many more deaths of Minot and Barksdale Air Force personnel in the wake of this incident.

Have I missed any others?

Via: KXMC:

Authorities are investigating the death of a Minot Air Force Base airman who died while on leave in Virginia.

Base officials say 20-year-old Airman 1st Class Todd Blue died Monday while visiting family members in Wytheville, Virginia.

Blue enlisted in the Air Force in March of last year and joined the 5th Security Forces at Minot Air Force Base the following August.

Information on how Blue died has not been released.

Related? Caddo Deputies Work Double-Fatality Accident

September 15, 2007
By John Andrew Prime

Caddo Parish sheriff’s deputies worked a wreck this morning in which two people from Barksdale Air Force Base were killed.

The accident, in the 5100 block of Shreveport-Blanchard Highway at 11:30 a.m., claimed the lives of a married couple. Their names have not been released, but the man was 29 and the woman was 32, according to a release from Caddo Parish sheriff’s spokeswoman Cindy Chadwick.

The two were riding a 2007 Harley-Davidson motorcycle, with the husband driving and the wife the passenger, Chadwick said.

“They were traveling behind a northbound Pontiac Aztec driven by Erica Jerry, 35, of Shreveport,” Chadwick’s release said. “Jerry initiated a left turn into a business parking lot at the same time the man driving the motorcycle attempted to pass her van on the left in a no passing zone. They collided.”

The woman passenger on the motorcycle died at the scene, while the husband was taken to LSU Hospital in Shreveport, where he died, the release said.

Further information on the victims is pending notification of their next-of-kin by Barksdale officials, the release said.

Related? Authorities Identify Minot Airman Killed in Crash

Jul 5 2007 6:42AM
Associated Press
Minot, N.D. (AP) Authorities have identified a Minot Air Force Base man killed in a crash on the outskirts of Minot.

Base officials say 20-year-old Adam Barrs was a passenger in a vehicle that failed to negotiate a curve, hit an approach, hit a tree and started on fire late Tuesday night.

Barrs was pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver is identified as 20-year-old Airman Stephen Garrett.

He was taken to Minot’s Trinity Hospital in critical condition.

Related? Bomber Pilot Killed in Crash

Jul 20, 2007 – 04:04:10 CDT
MINOT (AP) – A Minot Air Force Base bomber pilot was killed in a motorcycle crash in Tennessee, the base says.

1st Lt. Weston Kissel, 28, was a B-52 pilot assigned to the 23rd Bomb Wing at the Minot base, said Lt. Col. Gerald Hounchell, the 23rd Bomb Squadron commander. Kissel died Tuesday in the crash, while on leave, the base said.

Kissel, a native of Tennessee, graduated from the Air Force Academy in 2004, and arrived at the Minot base in July last year, the base said.

Related? Body of Missing Air Force Captain Found

Story Published: Sep 10, 2007 at 8:13 AM PDT

Story Updated: Sep 10, 2007 at 8:13 AM PDT
By Associated Press
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – The body of a missing Air Force captain from Florida has been found near Badger Peak in northeast Skamania County, Wash., Portland police said Sunday.

Acting on a tip from Portland police, Skamania County authorities found Capt. John Frueh’s rental car about noon on Saturday. They quickly began a search and rescue mission and, with the help of search dogs, found Frueh’s body near the vehicle about 5 p.m., the Skamania County Sheriff’s Office said.

Authorities said foul play is not suspected.

Skamania County is located in south-central Washington along the Columbia River Gorge, a popular spot for hiking and other outdoor activities.

Frueh, 33, came to Portland late last month to attend a friend’s wedding. He last spoke with family on Aug. 30.

Related? U.S. Air Force General, Thomas L. Tinsley, Dead from Gunshot Wound to Chest

Via: AP:

The officer who commands an air force wing in Alaska has died of a gunshot wound that likely was self-inflicted, authorities said Monday.

Brig. Gen. Thomas L. Tinsley suffered a gunshot wound to his chest late Sunday night and was pronounced dead within a half hour, said Col. Richard Walberg, who assumed command at Elmendorf Air Force Base after Tinsley’s death.

The weapon was likely a handgun, Walberg said.

Medical responders who rushed to Tinsley’s home on base were unable to save him. Tinsley’s wife and college-age daughter were home at the time.

Tinsley was named base commander in May 2007. He had served as an F-15 instructor pilot, F-15C test pilot, wing weapons officer, exchange officer and instructor with the Royal Australian Air Force.

His previous 22-month assignment was executive officer to the Air Force chief of staff, Gen. T. Michael “Buzz” Mosely, who resigned in June under pressure in an agency shake-up.

Mosely, the Air Force military chief, and Air Force Secretary Michael W. Wynne, the agency’s civilian head, were held accountable for failing to fully correct an erosion of nuclear-related performance standards. One concern was a cross-country flight in August of a B-52 carrying armed nuclear weapons.

Walberg said Tinsley was not under investigation or undue stress.

“As far as stress, sir, this job, by nature of being an Air Force officer in a nation at war, is stressful,” he said. “Undue stress, no.”

Representatives of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology will do a report and declare whether Tinsley’s cause of death was suicide, Walberg said. Such reports take about 30 days.

Related? Captain Jonathan Bayless: Another Minot Air Force Base Death

The 91st Missile Wing is a U.S. Air Force strategic nuclear missile unit. They deal with the Minuteman III ICBMs.

Via: AP:

The body of a missile combat crew commander from the Minot Air Force was found by police and the cause of his death is under investigation, the Air Force says.

A statement issued by the base Sunday said the body of Capt. Jonathan Bayless, 28, was found Friday night. Police did not give details but said it was in an area north of the city soccer complex and they are awaiting autopsy results.

Col. Christopher Ayres, the base’s 91st Missile Wing commander, said Bayless was a training chief with the 91st Operations Support Squadron. He had been at the Minot Air Force Base since March 2005.

Bayless went on active duty in May 2003, the statement said. Base officials did not list his hometown but said he had been assigned earlier to Vandenberg Air Force Base for missile combat crew member training.

”The 91st Missile Wing has lost not only a valuable member of our team, but a member of our family, and he will be missed.” Ayres said in the statement.

The Air Force said casualty assistance officers and unit members are helping Bayless’ family and a memorial service is being planned.

15 Responses to “Minot Air Force Base Airman Died While on Leave”

  1. anothernut Says:

    Our society and the lapdog press have been so aversion-conditioned to treat everything as a coincidence (as opposed to a conspiracy), the PTB don’t even bother to be careful. Have another paxil, everybody.

  2. Loveandlight Says:

    Yep, this is blood-chilling, to be sure.

  3. thegiant Says:

    can anyonew provide data verifiying the unit that Todd Blue belonged to and/or what his specific job was?

  4. tito Says:

    Airman 1st Class Todd Blue, 20, was a response force member assigned to the 5th Security Forces Squadron.

    googling “5th security forces” air force “response force”

    brings up a link to this guys resume

    Reading this other guy’s resume, he references his experience serving in Minot ND as including

    · Protected nuclear and conventional weapons storage areas along with B-52 and all other transient aircraft assigned to restricted areas.

    · Maintained security for Department of Energy overland shipments of Protection Level I (PL I) weapons and critical components.

    · Provided security for alert, non-alert, transient aircraft and a PL I Weapons Storage Area (WSA).
    · Regularly inspected base and WSA facilities to ensure compliance with security standards.
    · Responded to alarms inside and outside of the WSA and took necessary actions to neutralize threats directed at resources and personnel.
    · Controlled entry and maintained security for close-in security areas. Responsible for entry control of vehicles, equipment and personnel to PL I WSA.
    culvert/concealment checks of PL I WSA to deter and detect threats.

    I know this is not the resume of the deceased, but it is reasonable to assume that these duties would be within the same scope (or at least neighborhood) as they served in a similarly titled unit on the Minot base.


  5. Kevin Says:

    Guys, when I wrote, “Airman 1st Class Todd Blue was assigned to the unit that provides security for that bomber wing at Minot Air Force base,” I based that statement on:

    minot.af.mil — Units — 5th Bomb Wing Units. On minot.af.mil/units/5bwunits.asp, you see:

    The 5th Mission Support Group… consist of the 5th Civil Engineer Squadron, 5th Communications Squadron, 5th Force Support Squadron and 5th Security Forces Squadron, 5th Contracting Squadron and 5th Logistics Readiness Squadron.

    Tito’s find backs up the obvious assumption that a security unit that is assigned to a B-52 bomber wing is going to be responsible for nuclear weapons.

  6. Eileen Says:

    I guess I’m late in the comment stage of this story. What a strange co-inky-dink that soldier Blue died, I surmise, after telling this strange story to the Army Times.

    From my life I know that the resume Tito found is true so far as it concerns the following:
    “Maintained security for Department of Energy overland shipments of Protection Level I (PL I) weapons and critical components.” DOE is by land. Air Force by air. I’m not an authority per se, but the Air Force moves nuclear weapons all the time, but not in this way!

    Interesting though that the “mistaken shipment” chose the WMD-80 (if memory serves me) to ship. This is a system that is proving to be more cost prohibitive to refurbish – moreso than any other nuke. A report to that effect is on the DOE/OIG website.

    The base, if they had foreknowledge of the shipment, was most likely saying “good riddance to bad rubbish.” We’re taking out the trash so to speak. Happens all the time with other high explosive weaponry – rocket motors, etc. BUT NOT WITH NUKES.

    For myself, I think this story is one that needs stay alive. Why does a person have to die for exposing such a thing?

  7. rosito Says:

    Tempting as it is to find a conspiracy here the facts provided do nothing to dispel the default theory of chance events. Furthermore, there is insufficient data given to even test the theory.

    It is impossible to guage whether the 6 deaths are significantly outside the predictions of chance without a lot more information.

    First, there is no indication of the size of the sample. How many personnel work in the area or are conceivably connnected with the event? Are the 6 who died the only 6 who were involved in the proceedings or are they part of a group of 20,000 individuals?

    There is no control group. There is no way to know if these deaths are out of the ordinary unless the figure is compared with the number of deaths in this group which occured during the same time span last year, and the year before that, and the year before that. If 6 or more people from this group died during this time span in the previous year then it is unlikely that there is anything special about the six deaths reported here. It is almost always possible to find a connection between perfect strangers if you searching for it especially in retrospect.

    There is no plausable reason advanced for why these particular people, and not others, might have been murdered. The thread is implying that they were murdered, isn’t it?

    Finally, no-one has advanced any theory about the mechanism by which these individuals were murdered which makes more sense than the mechanism of chance. Only one case is reported in any detail and that one would be very hard to attribute to anything other than accident. If, however, each one of these people were found shot through the head in execution style then the theory of accident would be much less plausable.

    To summarize, a conspiracy theory can only be applied to these events if the principles of valid statistical analysis and logical deduction are ignored. In blunt terms, it is not an intelligent theory.

  8. genejohn Says:

    Did someone make a mistake on the July 5 and July 20 dates. The nukes were transferred on August 30. The Sept 15 and Sept 20 dates make sense. If the July dates are correct, please enlighten us.

  9. trueaz Says:

    No, those dates are correct. Those 2 died in July. I was at the briefings. Also, I want to point out that one of the articles site 2 deaths about airman from Barksdale AFB, in Louisiana as well as Captain Freuh’s death. He was actually stationed in Florida as a Special Ops officer. So those 3 deaths can’t really be counted against this whole conspiracy theory. Todd’s death is the only death that has occurred after the mishap up here in Minot.
    I’d hate to burst everyone’s conspiracy bubble, but there are about 2000 personnel on base that know what’s going on. Probably at least 100 who know to the “T” what happened. Not to mention spouses and so forth. That’s a big hit list right there. Guess I’m on it, too.

  10. Kevin Says:

    @ trueaz

    Friend, you might want to take your COMSEC protocols a bit more seriously. I’d appreciate any insights you wanted to provide, but this isn’t the way, for your own safety.

  11. trueaz Says:

    First off, it’s OPSEC, Friend. And second, I’m not revealing any information that you can’t google for yourself.

  12. Kevin Says:


    Communications security (COMSEC): Measures and controls taken to deny unauthorized persons information derived from telecommunications and ensure the authenticity of such telecommunications. Communications security includes cryptosecurity, transmission security, emission security, traffic-flow security. and physical security of COMSEC equipment.

    Hope that helps.

  13. trueaz Says:

    If you would have even read the definition on COMSEC you would have realized it applies ONLY to telecommunication protection measures such as monitored radio frequencies and secure/non-secure telephone lines and hardware protection such as the use of black boxes.
    OPSEC incorporates COMSEC, COMPUSEC, INFOSEC, IA, INFOCON EMSEC as well as other security disciplines.

    AFI10-701 30 SEPTEMBER 2005
    Definition. OPSEC is a process of identifying, analyzing and controlling critical information indicating friendly actions attendant to military operations and other activities to: (a) Identify those actions that can be observed by adversary intelligence systems. (b) Determine what indicators adversary intelligence systems might obtain that could be interpreted or pieced together to derive critical information in time to be useful to adversaries. (c) Select and execute measures that eliminate or reduce to an acceptable level the vulnerabilities of friendly actions to adversary exploitation. (JP 3-54). OPSEC is a process and not a collection of specific rules and instructions that can be applied to every operation. OPSEC must be closely integrated and synchronized with other influence operations capabilities and all aspects of the protected operations.

    AFI 33-204 1 APRIL 2004
    Communications Security (COMSEC)—Measures and controls taken to deny unauthorized persons information derived from telecommunications and to ensure the authenticity of such communications. (AFPD 33-2)

  14. Kevin Says:

    @ trueaz

    Do you have anything to add, then, about the B-52 incident, or not?

  15. AFwife91MSFS Says:

    Hey everyone! I’m an AF wife stationed in Minot. The 5th Bomb wing DOES NOT protect the majority of the Nukes here. The 91st Space wing does. The 5th Security Forces Sqaudron is mostly Law Enforcement and base security. The WSA holds mostly Ammo anyway. Check out the clown incident on India 9 instead or anything happening at FE Warren and Grand Forks too. There is too much going on here to say that there’s a conspiracy on this. If that happened every time something happened there would be a lot of car accidents and stuff . How about we add SRA Duhammel to that as well then? K? Thanks

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