US Nuke Bomb Crew Caught Napping
Sleeping missile crew held secret codes
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 25, 2008 4:42 AM CDT
A nuclear weapons silo similar to one on Minot Air Force Base where a missile crew fell asleep.    (Magnum Photos)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – A three-man US missile crew fell asleep while in possession of  top secret launch codes for nuclear missiles, reports Reuters. It happened earlier this month at a Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota—the same site of a breach last year in which nuclear weapons were erroneously loaded on a B-52 and flown to Louisiana.

The codes, contained in devices used to communicate with missiles in silos, had been deactivated, as part of the routine updating, so there was no actual security risk in the embarrassing lapse. An investigation concluded there was no compromise of the codes. The Air Force is contemplating disciplinary action.