UPDATE – 2:44 p.m.: A spokesman for the Minot Air Force Base confirms that the “illegal drug” found at the above-ground facilities of a Missile Alert Facility was, in fact, marijuana.
The spokesman also said the incident took place on Oct. 9. Several social media pages and website publications had previously reported the event in question took place on Oct. 11.
The Minot Air Force Base is investigating how illegal drugs wound up in the above-ground facilities of a Missile Alert Facility.
These facilities oversee the Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles.
In a terse, three-sentence statement, airbase officials said, “Illegal drugs were found in the above-ground facilities of a Minot AFB Missile Alert Facility. There is no indication that illegal drugs were found below ground or near any missile operator. More information will be provided after a thorough investigation.”
News of the incident was first posted to a popular Air Force forum Facebook page, which claimed an airman was “caught smoking marijuana” on October 11th around 2:00 a.m. by 791st Missile Security Forces Squadron personnel.
Minot has one of the nation’s two B-52 bomber bases and oversees 150 Minuteman 3 nuclear missiles.
The base has been under scrutiny since a 2007 mishap in which a B-52 bomber was mistakenly armed with six nuclear-tipped cruise missiles in Minot and flown to a base in Louisiana.
Other lapses include the theft of a launch code device, missile crew members sleeping on the job and failed inspections.