USAF sidelines 17 ICBM launch officers; cites ‘rot’ within system

AP: The US Air Force stripped an unprecedented 17 officers of their authority to control — and, if necessary, launch — nuclear missiles after a string of unpublicized failings, including a remarkably dim review of their unit’s launch skills. The group’s deputy commander said it is suffering “rot” within its ranks.

The tip-off to trouble was a March inspection of the 91st Missile Wing at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., which earned the equivalent of a “D” grade when tested on its mastery of Minuteman III missile launch operations.

Photo: This file photo provided by the National Park Service shows the inside of the deactivated Delta Nine Launch Facility near Wall, S.D., that is now open to the public. (AP)

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