Ten US Air Force officers at six military bases are being investigated for alleged illegal drug possession, service officials report.
Nine lieutenants and a captain at bases in the US and Britain have been implicated in the investigation.
Two nuclear launch control officers at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana are said to be involved in the probe.
The Air Force has since suspended the two officers’ security clearances, US media report.
The investigation was reportedly initiated with two officers at Edwards Air Force Base in California, the second-largest US Air Force base.
Ten US Air Force officers at six military bases are being investigated for alleged illegal drug possession
It then “expanded, based on contact with the officers in question regarding recreational drug possession”, Air Force spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Brett Ashworth told Reuters news agency.
The investigation has since grown to include officers at bases Malmstrom, Vandenberg in California, FE Warren in Wyoming and Schreiver in Colorado, as well as Royal Air Force Lakenheath in England, he added.
Malmstrom Air Force base reportedly oversees 420 nuclear-armed intercontinental ballistic missiles, while Schreiver Air Force Base is home to the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization.
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US Air Force Major-General Michael Carey was sacked for conduct “unbecoming of a gentleman” during a business trip to Russia in July, a report says.
Before being sacked, General Michael Carey was in charge of 9,600 people at three operational wings, had served in operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom and had received 13 major awards.
The newly-declassified document says General Michael Carey drank too much and met “suspect” foreign women.
He could not recall significant events or was “untruthful”, the report says.
Michael Carey’s removal came days after the Navy sacked an admiral overseeing nuclear forces over illegal gambling.
The two dismissals follow several other incidents affecting the US military’s nuclear establishment.
In August, a nuclear missile unit at Malstrom Air Force base in Montana failed a safety and security inspection, after which a senior security officer was relieved of duty.
In May, it was reported that 17 officers in charge of maintaining nuclear missiles were sidelined over safety violations at Minot Air Force base in North Dakota.
US Air Force Major-General Michael Carey was sacked for conduct “unbecoming of a gentleman” during a business trip to Russia
Michael Carey, a two-star general in the 20th Air Force, was responsible for maintaining intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) at three bases across the US – a total of 450 missiles.
He is now special assistant to the commander of Air Force Space Command.
No details were given when he was removed in October.
The internal report by the Inspector General of the Air Force is based on interviews with the general and members of the US delegation to a nuclear security training exercise.
“Maj-Gen. Carey consumed alcoholic beverages to the extent that it impacted his conduct,” the report says. It adds that this included briefings, banquets and other events.
It goes on: “Maj-Gen. Carey engaged in inappropriate or improper behavior when he chose to meet up with and continued to associate with the foreign national women… especially given his own acknowledgement that the women were suspect.”
He had met them at a restaurant and danced with one of them a day after, it says.
The investigators interviewed General Michael Carey, but he appeared to have forgotten substantial parts of what had happened in Russia.
Their conclusion was that the general “either had a poor recall of significant events, perhaps due to his alcohol consumption, or was untruthful during the interview”.
The general had been rude to the Russian hosts and to members of the delegation, they said.
And he had complained that his forces “suffered from low morale”.
General Michael Carey has made no comments following the release of the report – the result of a Freedom of Information request.
Major General Michael Carey, who was in charge of the US Air Force’s long-range nuclear missiles, has been sacked due to “loss of trust and confidence”, officials have said.
Michael Carey’s removal was for “behavior during a temporary duty assignment”.
The sacking was not linked to the operation of the nuclear arsenal, which was safe, the officials insisted.
On Wednesday the US Navy announced an admiral overseeing nuclear weapons forces had been sacked from the role.
That was due to illegal gambling activities, officials said.
Michael Carey is a two-star general in the 20th Air Force and was responsible for maintaining intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) at three bases across the US – a total of 450 missiles.
In a statement, the Air Force said Lt. General James Kowalski, the commander of Air Force Global Strike Command, had made the decision.
Major General Michael Carey has been sacked due to loss of trust and confidence
It read: “Kowalski made his decision based on information from an Inspector General investigation into Carey’s behavior during a temporary duty assignment.
“The allegations are not related to operational readiness or the inspection results of any 20th AF unit, nor do they involve s***al misconduct.”
Gen. James Kowalski said: “It’s unfortunate that I’ve had to relieve an officer who’s had an otherwise distinctive career spanning 35 years of commendable service.”
The general oversees all Air Force nuclear weapons, including aircraft-delivered.
The vice commander of Air Force Global Strike Command, Maj. Gen. Jack Weinstein, is temporarily replacing Gen Carey.
The Air Force’s biography of Gen. Michael Carey says he is in charge of 9,600 people at three operational wings and served in operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. It lists 13 major awards he has received.
On Wednesday the Navy announced that Vice-Admiral Tim Giardina had been removed as second-in-command of US Strategic Command.
Tim Giardina’s job was to oversee the nation’s nuclear weapons forces.
He is accused of using counterfeit gambling chips in “a significant monetary amount” at an Iowa casino.