Jump to search Jump to main navigation Jump to main content Jump to footer navigation

Global Security Newswire

Daily News on Nuclear, Biological & Chemical Weapons, Terrorism and Related Issues

Produced by
NationalJournal logo

One-Third of Missileers Implicated in Cheating Scandal Back in Training

Roughly one-third of the nuclear-missile officers who were implicated in a test-cheating scandal at a Montana base are now back in training.

20th Air Force head Maj. Gen. Jack Weinstein told the Great Falls Tribune that each of the 91 so-called "missileers" implicated in the cheating probe were assessed by their squadron heads to decide whether they should be permitted to resume training again. Not all of the airmen actively participated in the test-cheating; some knew of the misconduct but failed to report it.

"The commander believes they should have another chance to show they have integrity," said Weinstein, whose division oversee's all Air Force land-based Minuteman 3 missiles.

Malmstrom Air Force Base officials uncovered a large-scale cheating operation on routine certification exams last year during a separate drug possession investigation at the Montana installation. The ensuing probe by the Air Force led to a number of announced reforms in the management of the nuclear-missile officer corps, including in the way they are graded on their proficiency tests. The Air Force also fired nine mid-level officers at Malmstrom for failing to adequately supervise the junior officers involved in the cheating.

Weinstein said other planned reforms are aimed at smoothing out the way the intercontinental ballistic missile force interacts with other Air Force branches.

The major general said many of the morale issues within the missileer ranks can be "totally related to the way we were micro-managing them."

The Air Force has also authorized a number of budget expenditures aimed at improving the quality of life of the young Malmstrom missile officers who must spend lonely, 24-hour-long shifts beneath the ground manning the Minuteman 3 launch stations. Among the improvements include new kitchen appliances, better exercise equipment and new lockers, beds and computer chairs at the launch stations.

Note to our Readers

GSN ceased publication on July 31, 2014. Its articles and daily issues will remain archived and available on NTI’s website.

NTI Analysis

  • Latin America and the Caribbean 1540 Reporting

    Oct. 20, 2014

    This report is part of a collection examining implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540, which requires all states to implement measures aimed at preventing non-state actors from acquiring NBC weapons, related materials, and their means of delivery. It details implementation efforts in Central America, South America and the Caribbean to-date.

  • Nuclear Security Primer: The Existing System

    Sept. 17, 2014

    This primer provides an overview of the key agreements, guidelines, multilateral engagement mechanisms, and implementation services that make up today’s nuclear security system. It also summarizes the benefits and limitations of each.

Country Profile

Flag of United States

United States

This article provides an overview of the United States’ historical and current policies relating to nuclear, chemical, biological and missile proliferation.

Learn More →