The Air Force Scandal That Just Won’t Go Away

The timeline of the alleged cheating has stretched from two months to two years.

National Journal
Jordain Carney
Add to Briefcase
Jordain Carney
March 27, 2014, 12:23 p.m.

The fal­lout from an Air Force cheat­ing scan­dal con­tin­ues to spread, and now a sig­ni­fic­ant por­tion of the lead­er­ship at a Montana nuc­le­ar base is get­ting sacked.

Nine of­ficers in lead­er­ship po­s­i­tions were re­com­men­ded for re­mov­al and are be­ing re­as­signed, with Air Force Col. Robert Stan­ley, who over­sees the mis­sile crew, resign­ing, Air Force Sec­ret­ary De­borah Lee James said Thursday.

The of­fi­cials wer­en’t in­volved in the re­por­ted cheat­ing, but James says “they failed to provide ad­equate over­sight of their crew force.”

And though Lt. Gen. Steph­en Wilson, com­mand­er of Air Force Glob­al Strike Force, couldn’t give the spe­cif­ic num­ber of lead­er­ship po­s­i­tions at the Montana base, he said the re­movals rep­res­ent a “sig­ni­fic­ant por­tion” of the chain of com­mand.

The duo an­nounced in late Janu­ary that 92 mis­silers — al­most half — at the base were be­ing in­vest­ig­ated for al­leged cheat­ing on a monthly pro­fi­ciency test, or for know­ing about the cheat­ing. James said Thursday that that num­ber had grown to 100 mis­sileers. So far nine have been cleared by in­vest­ig­at­ors.

The al­leged cheat­ing also went on sig­ni­fic­antly longer than the two-month peri­od of­fi­cials ori­gin­ally re­por­ted, with the in­vest­ig­a­tion sug­gest­ing that cheat­ing could have star­ted as early as Novem­ber 2011 and could have con­tin­ued un­til Novem­ber 2013.

But of­fi­cials re­main con­fid­ent after con­duct­ing an in­vest­ig­a­tion across the coun­try’s three nuc­le­ar mis­sile bases that the cheat­ing is only tied to the Montana base.

The Air Force’s in­vest­ig­a­tion poin­ted to four crew mem­bers “at the cen­ter” of the cheat­ing scan­dal in which test an­swers were re­portedly shared via cell­phone. Three of those four are also tied to an in­vest­ig­a­tion in­to il­leg­al drug use.

James and Wilson stressed that they re­main con­fid­ent in the nuc­le­ar-mis­sile crew, but they are in­sti­tut­ing a series of re­forms in the wake of the far-reach­ing scan­dal in­clud­ing re­vamp­ing test­ing pro­ced­ures; look­ing at ways to re­dir­ect fund­ing to im­prove read­i­ness and qual­ity of life for the nuc­le­ar mis­sile crew; and re­form­ing the crew force’s cul­ture.

“If one per­son had spoken up this could have been very dif­fer­ent, and so that’s why we’re really fo­cus­ing on what in­teg­rity means,” James said.

What We're Following See More »
HAPPENED LAST WEEK
Bannon Subpoenaed By Mueller
45 minutes ago
THE LATEST

"The move marked the first time Mr. Mueller is known to have used a grand jury subpoena to seek information from a member of Mr. Trump’s inner circle. ...Mr. Mueller is likely to allow Mr. Bannon to forgo the grand jury appearance if he agrees to instead be questioned by investigators in the less formal setting of the special counsel’s offices in Washington."

Source:
RYBICKI TO DISCUSS CLINTON’S EMAIL SERVER
Wray Chief of Staff to Meet with House Investigators Thursday
1 hours ago
THE LATEST

"The chief of staff and senior counselor to FBI Director Christopher Wray is expected to meet with the House Oversight Committee Thursday. A spokesperson for House Oversight confirmed to the Washington Examiner that Jim Rybicki is expected to testify as part of the committee’s investigation into the Department of Justice’s probe in Hillary Clinton’s private email server, and the decision by then-FBI Director James Comey to announce there would be no criminal charges against the former secretary of state and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee."

Source:
WON’T SAY WHETHER NORWAY IS PREDOMINATELY WHITE
Nielsen Defends Trump Before Senate Judiciary
1 hours ago
THE LATEST

"Homeland Security Kristjen Nielsen confirmed that President Trump used 'tough language' in an Oval Office meeting last week over immigration policy, but she said she did not hear him describe some African countries and Haiti as 'shithole countries,' as has been reported." When pressed she, also said she "didn't know" whether Norway was a predominately white country.

Source:
TICKS UP TO 12.2%
Uninsured Rate Rose in 2017
2 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"The percentage of Americans without health insurance ticked up 1.3 percentage points in 2017, ending the year at 12.2%, according to the latest data from Gallup. That’s still a lot lower than it was before the Affordable Care Act’s coverage expansion took effect, but this is the biggest single-year increase under the ACA."

Source:
TESTIMONY COULD HAPPEN AS SOON AS FRIDAY
Hicks to Meet with House Intel Committee
3 hours ago
THE LATEST

"White House Communications Director Hope Hicks is expected to meet with the House Intelligence Committee as soon as this week, making her one of President Donald Trump's closest confidantes to be privately interviewed in the panel's Russia investigation, multiple sources with knowledge of the matter told CNN." She could testify as soon as Friday.

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login