Recent pattern of embarrassing Air Force errors

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- Revelations of mistakes at the Delaware military mortuary that lost body parts of two servicemen killed in Afghanistan mark the second embarrassing mission failure for the Air Force in three years.

The incidents involved caring for America's war dead and maintaining custody of nuclear weapons. The Air Force says its failures are tied indirectly to the intense demands of fighting two wars at the same time.

It was in 2008 when then-Defense Secretary Robert Gates fired the Air Force's top general and its senior civilian in response to a series of nuclear-related errors, starting with the mistaken arming of a B-52 bomber with nuclear missiles. The bomber flew across several states with the pilot unaware of the weapons.

Then on Tuesday the Air Force revealed problems at the Delaware mortuary.