By Lindsay Potter
At a January briefing, U.S. Lt. Col. Daniel Sebeck revealed nine former missileers who served at Malmstrom Air Force Base were diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma and one of the officers has died. MAFB, in Montana, boasts 150 of the U.S.’s 400 Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Silos. There are fewer than 400 missileers assigned to MAFB at a time, who sit for days inside thick-walled concrete and steel bunkers waiting for a command from the oval office to turn the launch key and initiate nuclear annihilation. Though the ages of the nine missileers were not given, their current ranks suggest they are in their 30s and 40s, compared to 67, the median age reported by the National Institutes of Health for non-Hodgkin lymphoma cases. A 2001 report from the Air Force Institute for Operational Health found 14 various cancers, two of them non-Hodgkin lymphoma, reported among former MAFB missileers. Despite the mounting evidence, the report declared the base environmentally safe and offered the observation that “sometimes illnesses tend to occur by chance alone.” Imagine that. — Associated Press, Jan. 22, 2023
On Feb. 27, the U.S. Air Force fired six officers at North Dakota’s Minot Air Force Base (pictured) after their units failed a nuclear safety inspection. Minot is the only base with B52 bombers and ballistic missile silos, two legs of the nuclear triad. ICBMS are also kept at Malmstrom and Warren AFB. — Air Force Times, Mar. 1, 2023. U.S. Air Force photo.