31. Behind errors of the operator there is an improper preparation
Behind the concrete errors of pilots, operators, dispatchers, and politicians, there is often a conceptual error in operator training or a warning flag that something was wrong with the pilot or operator in advance which goes ignored. In March 2014, a cheating scandal among proficiency tests at Maelstrom Air Force Base, Montana, for nuclear force officers led to the firing of nine missile wing commanders and the resignation of the commander of the 341st missile wing25. This is an example of setting standards and sticking to them. If a nuclear force officer cannot pass a proficiency test without cheating, what business do they have controlling devices which could cause the end of the world as we know it? The more important the technology, the more rigorous and failproof the evaluation and competency testing processes need to be. Scientific analysis of global risks and the promulgation of such knowledge should be considered part of “proper preparation” for mankind as a whole.