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Air Force sidelines 17 nuclear officers, Minot unit suffering 'rot' from within 08 May 2013 The Air Force stripped an unprecedented 17 officers of their authority to control - and, if necessary, launch - nuclear missiles after a string of unpublicized failings, including a remarkably dim review of their unit's launch skills. The group's deputy commander said it is suffering "rot" within its ranks. "We are, in fact, in a crisis right now," the commander, Lt. Col. Jay Folds, wrote in an internal email obtained by The Associated Press and confirmed by the Air Force. The tip-off to trouble was a March inspection of the 91st Missile Wing at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., which earned the equivalent of a "D" grade when tested on its mastery of Minuteman III missile launch operations. [See also: Minot AFB Clandestine Nukes 'Oddities' by Lori Price (2007 - 2013 archives).]