(WASHINGTON) — The Air Force has decertified 34 junior nuclear missile officers at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana after they were found to have cheated during a monthly re-certification test.
The cheating was discovered as a result of the ongoing investigation into drug use that now involves 11 Air Force officers, three of whom are nuclear missile officers.
Nuclear missile officers are the junior officers who spend 24-hours shifts in underground command centers and are responsible for launching intercontinental ballistic missiles that are based in underground silos over the plains states.
Seventeen of the 34 officers were directly involved in the cheating, officials say, and the other half were aware of it and did nothing about it.
As a result, all of the Air Force’s ICBM officers are currently being re-tested.
The ongoing drug investigation found evidence of a text message that indicated that there had been widespread cheating at Malmstrom. The decertification impacts 34 of the 190 nuclear missile officers at Malmstrom.
The 34 officers range in rank from second lieutenants to captain.
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