News Column

USAF Strips 17 of Missile Launching Authority

May 8, 2013

The U.S. Air Force last month stripped 17 officers of authority to control nuclear missiles in silos at Minot, N.D., the Pentagon confirmed Wednesday.

CNN reported it obtained a copy of a memo issued in April by Lt. Col. Jay Folds, deputy commander of the 91st Operations Group, which controls the Minuteman III nuclear missiles at Minot Air Force Base.

"We're discovering such rot in the crew force," the memo reads. Folds also ordered his troops to "crush any rules violators," CNN said.

The 17 relieved officers were to undergo 60 to 90 days of retraining after performing poorly during an inspection, Air Force spokesman Lt. Col. John Dorrian said.

The tipping point involved the potential compromise of launch codes, CNN said. Dorrian said an officer handled the codes improperly and is being disciplined although an investigation determined the codes hadn't been compromised.

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Source: Copyright UPI 2013

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