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Air Force fires commander of land-based U.S. nuclear missiles

WASHINGTON — The Air Force fired a general in charge of all land-based nuclear missiles on Friday, the second time in a week that a senior commander of the country's nuclear arsenal has been let go for allegations of personal misconduct.

Maj. Gen. Michael Carey, commander of the 20th Air Force, was removed from his job "due to a loss of trust and confidence in his leadership and judgment," said Brig. Gen. Les Kodlick, an Air Force spokesman.

Air Force officials said Carey has been under investigation since the summer for allegations of "personal misbehavior" but would not specify what prompted his firing. Pressed by reporters at a news conference, Kodlick said the case did not involve drugs, sexual misconduct, gambling or criminal activity, but declined to comment when asked if alcohol played a role.

Carey's firing came two days after the Navy announced it had fired a three-star admiral serving as the deputy commander of the U.S. Strategic Command, which oversees all nuclear-armed missiles, bombers and submarines.

In that case, Vice Adm. Tim Giardina remains under investigation by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service after he was allegedly caught using $1,500 in counterfeit gambling chips by a casino in Iowa. The casino is near Strategic Command headquarters in Omaha, Neb.

The 20th Air Force is responsible for operating intercontinental ballistic missiles. The Air Force maintains about 450 Minuteman IIIs missiles at three bases.

Air Force fires commander of land-based U.S. nuclear missiles 10/11/13 [Last modified: Saturday, October 12, 2013 1:50am]
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