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Nuke Test Cheating Linked to Flawed Leadership

Investigators say flawed leadership is at the root of an exam-cheating scandal that decimated the ranks of an Air Force nuclear missile group.

Malmstrom
Photo courtesy of jmayer1129/Flickr

The investigators’ final report says top nuclear commanders demanded test-taking perfection among the missile crews, but they also tacitly condoned the methods of some who skirted the rules.

The report found fault among leaders far up the chain of command, but no one was punished beyond the 341st Missile Wing at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont., where nine midlevel commanders were removed and the colonel who was in charge of the wing was allowed to resign and retire.

The report said the cheating might not have been uncovered, but for a drug-use investigation that began in California last summer and led to two officers at Malmstrom.

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