Investigation about several US officers who are reporting blood cancer diagnoses
The top US Air Force general in charge of the nation’s air- and ground-launched nuclear missiles has requested an official investigation into the number of officers who are reporting blood cancer diagnoses after serving at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana.
The illnesses became publicly known this week after a military brief that at least nine missileers – those officers serving in underground bunkers near silo-based Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles and responsible for turning launch keys if ordered – were reporting diagnoses of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. One of the officers has died.
Gen. Thomas A Bussiere, commander of Air Force Global Strike Command, which is responsible for all of the silo-based and aircraft-launched nuclear warheads, said in a statement that he has requested that the US Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine conduct a formal assessment into the reported cancers.
It was not immediately clear if that assessment would be limited to Malmstrom, or if it would include similar nuclear missile facilities at Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota and FE Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming.
“Air Force Global Strike Command and our Air Force takes the responsibility to protect airmen and Guardians incredibly seriously, and their safety and health is always my top priority,” Bussiere said.
“While we continue to work through this process, service members and their dependents as well as former service members who may have concerns or have questions are encouraged to speak with their healthcare providers.”