By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Jan. 17, 2014 – The retesting of nuclear ICBM launch officers is nearly complete, Pentagon spokesman Army Col. Steve Warren said today.
Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III ordered the retesting after discovering that some nuclear launch officers cheated on proficiency exams. A total of 34 crewmen at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont., have been suspended from duty due to the allegations.
By close of business yesterday, 472 officers finished the retesting, Warren said. Of those, 21 officers failed the exam. The pass rate was 95.6 percent, well within historical averages. The 21 officers that failed will undergo retraining and then be retested.
“If they pass they will return to duty,” Warren said.
Another 27 officers who are on leave or who are on temporary duty have not been retested. Officials said they will be retested once they return to their bases.
The 34 officers who were suspended pending the investigation into cheating will not be retested, Warren said.
All told, 82 officers are not available for assignment.
“It is having an impact,” Warren said. “But it is an impact the missileers have been able to schedule around. It has no impact on the operational readiness, no impact on the safety, no impact on the capabilities, it is just more work for the individual missileers in the short term.”
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