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Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James said she “picked up on some morale issues” among nuclear launch operators as she spent the week visiting USAF’s three ICBM bases, reported ABC News via the Associated Press. Her trip comes on the heels of a cheating and drug scandal that has once again put the missileer community in the national spotlight and has forced many to question whether the Air Force really does have a handle on its nuclear mission. “I certainly wish that this would not have happened, but it did happen and it’s a problem,” said James, who also said she has “full confidence in the nuclear mission” after meeting with 1,700 officers and airmen at F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyo., Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont., and Minot AFB, N.D., this week. James also is expected to visit Barksdale AFB, La.—home of Air Force Global Strike Command. The New York Times, however, reported that cheating in the nuclear community is a systemic problem. The article, which cites several current and former crewmembers and officers not implicated in the current cheating probe, reads, “Cheating has been a fact of life among America’s nuclear launch officers for decades.” Bruce Blair, a former missileer and current co-founder of Global Zero, an organization that advocates for the elimination of nuclear weapons, admits he and his fellow crewmembers cheated on proficiency tests. “The sticks are so severe, the punishment for imperfection so great, that it encourages crew members to work together to ensure no one fails,” Blair told the NYT. (See also Missileer Burnout?)