Two Air Force Nuclear Launch Officers Under Investigation in Drug Probe

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Jan. 9 2014 7:43 PM

Two Air Force Nuclear Launch Officers Under Investigation in Drug Probe

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The United States Air Force Thunderbirds fly over the Rose Parade.

Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Two Air Force officers responsible for nuclear missile launches are under investigation for drug possession an Air Force spokesman said Thursday. The officers are stationed at Montana’s Malmstrom Air Force Base. In the wake of the allegations, the officers' access to classified information has been suspended, the Associated Press reports, and they have been taken off missile launch control duty. The news of the probe broke as Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel made a rare visit to another nuclear missile base in Wyoming on Thursday. The drug investigation comes at a time when the U.S. nuclear weapons mission has been plagued by morale problems, Reuters reports. In October, the commander of the Air Force nuclear missile arsenal was fired after a drunken romp while on a nuclear training exercise in Moscow. Two months ago, according to Stars and Stripes, the officers’ unit was “awarded an overall ‘excellent’ rating after a weeklong inspection conducted by Air Force Global Strike Command.”

Elliot Hannon is a writer in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter.