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Air Force fires 9 over cheating scandal

WASHINGTON — The Air Force said Thursday it had fired nine officers and accepted the resignation of the commander at Malmstrom Air Base in Montana as it continued to deal with a widespread cheating scandal among the men and women entrusted with the launching of intercontinental ballistic missiles.

The commander, Colonel Robert Stanley, who was directly responsible for the 100 or so officers implicated in the cheating scandal at Malmstrom, resigned Thursday morning, the Air Force said.

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The long-running case has led to the largest number of dismissals in the history of the ICBM force, which controls 450 nuclear-tipped Minuteman missiles at three bases, in Montana, North Dakota, and Wyoming.

The nine firings at Malmstrom represented most of the chain of command at the base. The officers were not fired for cheating, Air Force officials said, but because nearly half of the missile launch crew’s members either were cheating on monthly proficiency tests or knew about the cheating.

Separately, the Air Force said it had fired Colonel Donald Holloway, the commander of a missile wing at Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming, over the “loss of confidence in his ability to lead.”

Holloway’s firing, the Air Force said, “has nothing to do with the recent commander-directed investigation into the testing compromise at Malmstrom.”

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