Two maintainers from the 90th Missile Maintenance Squadron at F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming were found to have consumed alcohol at a missile alert facility earlier this month, the base confirmed Friday.
Security forces at the facility on May 14 found alcoholic beverages belonging to the nuclear missile maintainers, a staff sergeant and a senior airmen, said Joseph Coslett, spokesman for the 90th Missile Wing, in an email. An investigation, which included an admission by the airmen, was conducted, and found the airmen had consumed the alcohol while off-duty, Coslett said.
Coslett said the airmen “were not in contact [with], nor had any access to, weapons or classified material” at the time.
However, Coslett said, Air Force Global Strike Command regulations prohibit “processing or consuming alcoholic beverages … within the confines of any missile alert facility … while en route to or from duty in the missile complex.”
“This is an unacceptable breach of standards and the Air Force held the airmen accountable for their actions,” Coslett said. He would not discuss their punishments for privacy reasons.
The unofficial Facebook page Air Force amn/nco/snco first reported that maintainers from the 90th had been discovered consuming alcohol at a missile alert facility.
The 90th Maintenance Group at F.E. Warren, to which the airmen’s squadron belongs, works on the base’s Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles, as well as the command and control systems used to launch them. F.E. Warren’s website says the group maintains 150 missiles. as well as 15 launch control facilities spread over three states.
The Air Force’s nuclear missile corps has struggled in recent years with various forms of misconduct and low morale. For example, in 2016, the 90th at F.E. Warren also uncovered a ring of airmen that bought, distributed and used the hallucinogen LSD while off-duty.
Stephen Losey is the air warfare reporter for Defense News. He previously covered leadership and personnel issues at Air Force Times, and the Pentagon, special operations and air warfare at Military.com. He has traveled to the Middle East to cover U.S. Air Force operations.