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General promises reform at N.D. base

MINOT, N.D. — The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff reassured hundreds of airmen Monday that recent nuclear weapons missteps at their North Dakota base would be corrected, but he did not elaborate on the ‘‘failures of leadership’’ he blames for causing the problems.

Army General Martin Dempsey spoke at a packed B-52 hangar at Minot Air Force Base, a trip that came days after the commander in charge of training and proficiency at the base’s 91st Missile Wing was ousted because of ‘‘a loss of confidence.’’

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‘‘We’ll figure this out,’’ Dempsey said. ‘‘I’m going to leave here feeling much better about everything.’’

The base has endured a rash of nuclear-related blunders. It scored an equivalent of a ‘‘D’’ grade for its mastery of missile launch operations during a test in March.

Dempsey’s hour-long address was part pep-talk and part question-and-answer with the troops that dealt mostly with military budget issues.

The general and his wife, Diane, toured the base prior to his address.

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