More nuclear missile officers accused in cheating probe

The number of nuclear missile launch officers under investigation for allegations of cheating has nearly doubled, a U.S. military official said Tuesday.

On Jan. 15, the Air Force announced that 34 nuclear officers were under investigation for either cheating on tests or knowing about the cheating ring and not reporting it.

As the investigation continued, investigators identified more individuals who were involved in or knew about the cheating, nearly doubling the number from the original 34 — although officials wouldn’t give an exact number.

“The number of officers under investigation has increased,” the official said, but declined to give the exact number now under investigation. The official also could not say how many officers have been suspended from duty, saying only, “It is safe to assume that if they are under investigation, they are not pulling duty.”

Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James, the service’s top civilian official, has said that the alleged cheating at Malmstrom was discovered during a previously announced probe of drug possession by 11 officers at several bases. Initially, that probe only included 10 officers.

The 341st Missile Wing provides security for 150 nuclear-armed Minuteman 3 intercontinental ballistic missiles, one third of the entire ICBM force, according to the Associated Press.

Full article: More nuclear missile officers accused in cheating probe (US News/NBC News)

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