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Nuke Commander Says Stricken Unit ‘Broken Hearted’

Malmstrom Air Force Base
Photo courtesy of rmdey2000/Flickr

The commander of the nuclear missile force in Montana where 34 launch control officers are implicated in an exam cheating scandal tells The Associated Press that his unit is “broken hearted” at the setback.

The commander of the 341st Missile Wing, Col. Robert W. Stanley II, spoke by phone Friday from Malmstrom Air Force Base, near Great Falls, Mont. He says the suspension of the 34 officers means others will have to do extra duty to maintain combat readiness of all 150 of the wing’s Minuteman 3 nuclear missiles.

Stanley says this can be managed “pretty easily,” although it puts extra strain on everyone involved.

Stanley says the cheating, which he characterizes as lying, represents the worst thing he can imagine an Air Force officer doing, “aside from murder.”

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