Cannabis Found at Nuclear Missile Facility

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Minot Air Force Base has already seen several snafus, including theft of a launch code device, failed inspections, and more.

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Marijuana was found at a Minot Air Force Base nuclear missile facility in central North Dakota, the military reported Wednesday.

The undisclosed amount was found Oct. 9 at a missile alert facility, Air Force Sgt. Benjamin Smith said. The drug was discovered above ground and not near missile operators, he said.

Minot hosts one of the nation’s two B-52 bomber bases and oversees 150 Minuteman 3 nuclear missiles.

The base has been under scrutiny since a 2007 mishap in which a B-52 bomber was mistakenly armed with six nuclear-tipped cruise missiles in Minot and flown to a base in Louisiana.

Other lapses include the theft of a launch code device, missile crew members sleeping on the job and failed inspections.

In 2013, Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, then-chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told hundreds of Minot airmen that nuclear weapons missteps at the base would be corrected, but he didn’t elaborate on the “failures of leadership” he blamed for causing the problems.

In November last year, the commander of the base’s bomb squadron was removed “due to a loss of trust and confidence from his failure to maintain a professional workplace environment.” No details were given.

In May 2018, a container of ammunition for an automatic grenade launcher fell off a Humvee in a Native American reservation and, after two weeks of searching by Minot Air Base personnel, was declared lost.

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