- US suspends 92 nuke officers amid cheating scandal!
The United States military has suspended 92 officers in charge of nuclear missiles operations after they allegedly cheated in a proficiency test exam.
“As the investigation has moved forward, we can now report there is a total of 92 crew members that have been identified as having some level of involvement,” Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James said Thursday. “That means either participating in the cheating or knowing something about it and not standing up and reporting it,” she said.
James said the nuclear force is beset by “undue stress and fear,” adding that the force suffers “systemic problems.” According to the US Air Force, 17 officers initially were believed to have been involved in cheating on a monthly proficiency test to ensure they know how to maintain, and launch, nuclear missiles.
The tests in question are designed to ensure proficiency by launch officers in handling “emergency war orders.”
The Air Force has 450 Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles, or ICBMs, on alert at all times, with a contingent of about 500 launch control officers.
Ninety officers work in pairs inside 45 underground US launch control centers each day and each center monitors and controls a group of 10 Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles. The United States, which has thousands of nuclear warheads, upgrades the weapons of mass destruction on a regular basis.