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North Dakota nuclear missile base struggles to recover from scandals
North Dakota nuclear missile base struggles to recover from scandals

A bitter wind relentlessly whips across acres of frozen prairie at this remote base, where hundreds of airmen and women stay on alert around the clock to do the unthinkable: launch a nuclear attack. This is the only installation in the nation that hosts both intercontinental ballistic missiles and B-52 bombers, two legs of the so-called nuclear triad with submarines. Yet it has been besieged by scandals and mishaps that have marred its historic role. In August 2007, crews at Minot mistakenly loaded six cruise missiles carrying nuclear warheads onto a B-52 heavy bomber that flew to another base in Louisiana. The warheads were not properly guarded for 36 hours before anyone realized they...

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