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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

Maintenance mishap damaged US nuke in 2014: Air Force

Iran Press TV

Sat Jan 23, 2016 2:48AM

The US Air Force says a nuclear-armed missile stored in its underground launch facility was damaged last year during a technical crew "mishap."

In a statement released to the Associated Press on Friday, the Air Force said the incident happened on May 17, 2014, when a Minuteman 3 intercontinental ballistic missile was damaged due to a "human error."

The brief summary stated that the missile 'became non-operational' during a diagnostic test on the evening of May 16, 2014.

The next day, an unnamed 'mishap crew' chief 'did not correctly adhere to technical guidance' during their troubleshooting inspection, 'subsequently damaging the missile.'

It said the team chief 'lacked the necessary proficiency level' to anticipate the consequences of his actions.

The damaged missile was removed from its silo in Colorado. Repairing it would cost $1.8 million.

The statement further stated that the accident caused no injuries and did not put public safety at risk. The Air Force did not release any more details as to how the incident happened and why it has been concealed for more than 20 months.

Under the Air Force's own regulations, all Accident Investigation Board reports are required to be made public.

In this case, however, the full report was classified on November 9, 2015, General Robin Rand, the four-star general who commands Air Force nuclear forces.

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