Nap time in the silo?Three hree ballistic missile crew members fell asleep while holding classified launch code devices. The incident occurred at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota. Minot is home to 150 Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles (range 6,000+ miles) and a wing of B-52H bombers armed with gravity bombs, air-launched cruise missiles and stealth advanced cruise missiles.
An investigation by military and National Security Agency experts into the latest incident found that the missile launch codes were outdated and remained secure at all times.
Air Force Colonel Dewey Ford, a spokesman at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colorado, said: "This was just a procedural violation that we investigated. We determined that there was no compromise." US officials said the three officers were behind locked doors and had the old code components, large classified devices that allow the crew to communicate with the missiles, with them.
He said the Minot-based crew had code devices that were no longer usable because new codes had been installed in the missiles.
But the lapse on July 12 was serious enough to prompt an investigation by the 91st Missile Wing, in conjunction with codes experts at the 20th Air Force, US Strategic Command and the National Security Agency. [via The Independent]