Report: Missile Problem Worse Than Admitted - - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Report: Missile Problem Worse Than Admitted

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The "rot" in the ranks of the missile wing at Minot Air Force Base was worse than reported, according to documents obtained by the Associated Press.

Jim Olson reports on the what the A-P has uncovered about the base's issues that first came to light nearly a year ago.

<The Associated Press reports that missilery flunked their test as part of a major inspection in March of last year.

The A-P report also says there were hints of an exam cheating problem nearly a year before a cheating scandal was revealed by Air Force officials at a Montana missile base.

The newly-released documents say airmen responsible for operation of the Minot base's 150 nuclear-armed missiles would have failed their portion of a major inspection one year ago, but managed the equivalent of a grade "D" because their failing marks were averaged with higher grades from support staff such as cooks who serve personnel at launch control facilities.

The problems at Minot Air Force Base were first brought to light in May of last year by an Associated Press report on the low grades earned by missile crew members.

After that report, a memo from the missile wing's deputy operations commander was revealed saying he was concerned about a "rot" in the ranks of missile operators.

As for cheating on exams, this week's A-P report says an inquiry into the situation at Minot last March showed missilery were taking exams as a group and were not properly supervised.

The A-P reports those are similar to allegations in the cheating scandal revealed by the Air Force at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana this year.

Since this year's revelations, top Air Force and military officials - including the Secretary of the Air Force - have visited the nuclear missile bases in the heart of the country.

The commander of Global Strike Command - the group in charge of all Air Force nuclear weapons - visited Minot Air Force Base early last month and said he had enlisted a team of about a dozen experts to inspect various aspects of the missile bases.

(Lt. General Stephen Wilson, Global Strike Command - February 6th) "Those things I can solve I'm going to solve. Those that I can't solve I'm taking to our chief of staff and Secretary of the Air Force. Those that they can't solve we're taking to the Secretary of Defense."

General Wilson's team was to report back to him by the end of February, but so far there has been no information released on what the review found. At Minot Air Force Base, Jim Olson, KX News.

The Air Force documents were released to an anti-nuclear weapons group called Speak Truth to Power, which shared them with the AP.

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