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Bridget Johnson


January 15, 2014 - 2:34 pm

The Defense Department confirmed today that it’s investigating allegations that “several dozen” ICBM officers, launch officers responsible for operating the intercontinental ballistic missile system, cheated on their proficiency exams.

Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby said Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James briefed Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel on the case. James gave a press conference today in which she said that 3 of the 10 who were implicated in an Air Force drug possession investigation were from the Air Force Global Strike Command, home of the ICBM forces.

“Secretary Hagel was deeply troubled to learn of these allegations, and he strongly supports the aggressive steps the Air Force is taking in response to them. He asked Secretary James to update him regularly on these investigations, and to make the health of the ICBM force a top priority,” Kirby said.

“Having just returned from visiting with ICBM officers in Wyoming, Secretary Hagel understands the importance of their mission and the necessity that it be executed according to the highest standards of professionalism. He will be following the issue closely.”

This follows a May incident in which 17 ICBM officers were quietly stripped of their launch powers in what internal emails described as a culture of indifference and sloppy security standards.

House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) said he expects the missile force commanders to “ensure there is no recurrence.”

“The nuclear mission, and particularly the ICBM mission, is a centerpiece of U.S. National security. Day in and day out, missileers, security forces, and maintenance personnel work a tough, demanding duty,” McKeon said. “They expect no praise for their professionalism. I’m saddened that a few serious violations have sullied the name of an otherwise honorable group of professionals. And the ones whose integrity is intact have my thanks and gratitude.”

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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All Comments   (5)
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Nothing new here, USAF Missileers have had issues for years.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
a culture of indifference...
Sounds familiar.
Color? M-F? 'Sexual preference'? Religion?
MSM in full evasion mode, again. Let's call it a 'work-related snow job'.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Don't fall for it. I'm sure they will remove right-wingers and freedom loving people from all this mess, while pardoning the leftist. They are going after the best of us, the rest is an excuse.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
There have been all the signs pointing to a purge of the military by this administration and the idealogues that swim with it since 2009.

You have to ask yourself who is going to be left, when the force has been purged of all wrong thinkers and Republicans.

I'm not convinced that this is anythig but a smokescreen for more of the same in the nuclear arm.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The head person sets the tone for an organization.

Why should anybody in any kind of government position since Jan 21, 2009 think that honesty and integrity is the way to succeed?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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