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Drug Probe Undercuts Hagel Pep Talk to Nuke Force

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel
Amy Richards, Townsquare Media

F.E. WARREN AIR FORCE BASE, Wyo. (AP) — Moments before he launched a carefully planned pep talk to members of the Air Force’s nuclear missile force, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel was undercut by yet another sign of trouble in their ranks: a drug probe of two missile officers.

Hagel flew to a Wyoming air force base Thursday to deliver a message he felt needed to be heard by men and women who sometimes tire of toiling in a job that can seem like military oblivion. He wanted to buck them up, while also insisting that their standards should never be compromised.

What Hagel did not count on was the news that two Minuteman 3 launch control officers at an ICBM base in Montana had been removed from duty because they are under investigation for illegal narcotics.

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