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Associated Press, Published July 01 2009

Minot Air Force Base missile wing passes inspections

MINOT, N.D. – Minot Air Force Base says its 91st Missile Wing received the highest possible grade of “satisfactory” during recent inspections.

The inspections dealt with the unit’s readiness to handle nuclear operations.

The missile wing, led by Col. Chris Ayers, maintains and operates a fleet of 150 Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles in underground silos in north-central and northwest North Dakota.

The Minot base has been involved in nuclear missteps in recent years. They include 2008 incidents in which three ballistic missile crew members fell asleep while holding classified launch code devices, and a vehicle carrying a rocket booster for an unarmed Minuteman III missile tipped over.

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