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Study Shows “Burnout” Among ICBM Officers

FE Warren Air Force Base Gate
Trevor T. Trujillo, Townsquare Media

WASHINGTON (AP) — Trouble inside the Air Force’s nuclear missile force runs deeper and wider than officials have let on.

The Associated Press has obtained an unpublished study for the Air Force that found “burnout” among launch officers with their fingers on the triggers of 450 weapons of mass destruction.

It also cites evidence of broader behavior issues, including suicide, sexual assault and domestic violence.

The study by RAND researchers says that court-martial rates in the nuclear missile force in 2011 and 2012 were more than twice as high as in the overall Air Force, and that administrative punishments also were higher in those years.

These indicators add a new dimension to an emerging picture of malaise and worse inside the ICBM force, an arm of the Air Force with a proud heritage.

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