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Montana Nuclear-Missile Base to Get Hundreds More Workers

A Montana nuclear-missile base said it plans to take on 216 new staffers to help improve working conditions for its personnel, KRTV reports.

"The 216 personnel positions Malmstrom [Air Force Base] is receiving is a portion of the more than 1,100 total manning spots approved by [U.S. Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James] and divvied throughout [Air Force Global Strike Command]," Col. Marné Deranger, 341st Missile Wing vice commander, said in a news release.

Deranger said the service is adding the new personnel under its Force Improvement Program, which covers the country's three strategic-missile bases in Montana, North Dakota and Wyoming. The missile force was beset by a number of scandals in the last year that revealed widespread exam-cheating at Malmstrom, allegations of drug possession by some missile control officers, and problems fully adhering to security regulations while on missile-launch duty.

"The program is looking at better ways of doing business and pushing decision-making responsibility down to the lowest levels," Deranger said. "Some of the approved recommendations include enhancing leadership development, re-aligning nuclear inspections into the broader Air Force Inspection System, and returning the Personnel Reliability Program to being a commander's program."

She added that the Air Force is "changing the definition of perfection" for nuclear-force personnel.

"We need to be perfect as a system, not perfect as individuals. We need to ensure we train people properly by not holding them to a standard that's unacceptable. In the past, if you didn't get 100 on every test, that was a negative. That's not where we need people to be perfect."

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