Two missile-launch crew at U.S. base in Montana suspended in drug probe

WASHINGTON, Jan 9 (Reuters) – Two missile-launch crew members at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana have been implicated in an illegal narcotics operation and have had their access to classified information suspended, a U.S. defense official said on Thursday.

The two officers were members of the 341st Missile Wing at the base, the official said.

News of the investigation came as Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel was visiting a sister missile base in neighboring Wyoming to deliver a message about the importance of the U.S. nuclear weapons mission, which has been troubled by morale problems.

The major general in charge of U.S. intercontinental ballistic missiles was fired last year for drunken and inappropriate behavior while leading a security delegation to Moscow.