34 Air Force Nuke Officers Cheated on Exam

Cheating scandal is not to be confused with the drug scandal

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 15, 2014 3:17 PM CST

(Newser) Drug use, cheating on a big exam via phone texts—the allegations sound like run-of-the-mill stuff for your typical high school. Except that in this case, the accused are Air Force officers charged with watching the nation's nuclear arsenal. In the latest round of bad news for the service, the Air Force announced today that 34 officers at a Montana base either cheated on a competency test or didn't report those who did, reports CNN. All have been decertified.

One officer at the Malmstrom Air Force Base texted the answers to a missile-launch test to 16 buddies, reports the Air Force Times. Another 17 officers knew of the cheating but failed to report it. The revelations stem from a separate investigation into the use of narcotics among officers at six different bases. Two lucky officers implicated in the cheating scandal also are implicated in the drug scandal. “This is not about the compromise of nuclear weapons," insists a high-ranking Air Force official. "It’s about compromise of the integrity of some of our airmen."

In this image released by the U.S. Air Force, a Malmstrom Air Force Base missile-maintenance team removes the upper section of an ICBM.   (AP Photo/U.S. Air Force, John Parie)
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