Policy: National Security

Commanders fired in nuke missile cheating scandal

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Associated Press,Air Force,National Security,Nuclear Weapons

The Air Force is firing nine mid-level commanders and disciplining dozens of junior officers at a nuclear missile base in response to an exam-cheating scandal that spanned a far longer period than originally reported.

The Air Force says the firings are unprecedented in the history of the intercontinental ballistic missile force, which consists of 450 Minuteman 3 nuclear-tipped missiles at bases in Montana, Wyoming and North Dakota.

No Air Force general is being punished, but Col. Robert Stanley, the top commander at the Montana base, which is where the exam cheating was discovered in January, has resigned.

Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James was announcing the moves — as well as measures designed to improve morale, working conditions and ICBM force leadership — at a Pentagon news conference Thursday.

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