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US nuclear crew weaknesses worse than reported

Documents show US nuclear missile launch crew weaknesses were worse than first reported

FILE - This undated handout photo provided by the National Park Service shows the inside of the deactivated Delta Nine Launch Facility near Wall, S.D....
FILE - This 2002 file photo provided by the National Park Service shows the launch key mechanism at the deactivated Delta Nine Launch Facility near Wa...

Nuclear Missteps

FILE - This undated handout photo provided by the National Park Service shows the inside of the deactivated Delta Nine Launch Facility near Wall, S.D....

Nuclear Missteps

FILE - This 2002 file photo provided by the National Park Service shows the launch key mechanism at the deactivated Delta Nine Launch Facility near Wa...

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Documents obtained by The Associated Press show that failings exposed last spring at a U.S. Air Force nuclear missile base were worse than originally reported.

Those responsible for missile operations at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, passed an inspection in March 2013 with a "marginal" rating. But that was only because of good marks received by cooks and other support staff. Launch officers entrusted with keys to 150 Minuteman 3 missiles did poorly and would have flunked the inspection.

The documents also hint at the makings of an exam-cheating problem among launch crews at Minot months before allegations of widespread cheating erupted in January at a companion nuclear base in Montana.

The Air Force documents were released to a group called Speak Truth to Power, which shared them with the AP.