Thursday, August 28, 2008

Minot Nuke Handlers Given Article 15s

Posted : Thursday Aug 28, 2008 13:25:11 EDT

The three missile officers at the 91st Missile Wing who fell asleep on July 12 while still in possession of classified components received non-judicial punishment under Article 15 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice on Aug. 28, officials said.

The two first lieutenants and one captain also lost their certification in the Personnel Reliability Program making them ineligible to work with nuclear weapons. And they were fined an unspecified amount from each of the next two months pay.

Two squadron commanders and several other officers at the wing received administrative actions for their roles in the incident involving classified components containing superceded missile launch codes for Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles at Minot Air Force Base, N.D.

Maj. Gen. Roger Burg, 20th Air Force commander, issued the Article 15s to the three officers who had just completed a 24-hour shift and were waiting in the rest area of the launch control center’s support building while awaiting permission to leave the secure zone.

Air Force regulations mandate at least two of the officers must remain awake while in control of these items.

“We hold everyone involved in this mission to the highest standards of performance and accountability every day, and we will not tolerate substandard performance,” Burg said.

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