The Navy is investigating allegations that some 30 watch-standers at the Charleston Nuclear Power Training Unit in South Carolina cheated on a written qualification exam, said Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert on Tuesday. The news comes on the heels of a wide-spread cheating investigation at Malmstrom AFB, Mont., in which at least 92 missileers have been implicated. Adm. John Richardson, director of the Navy Nuclear Propulsion Program, told Pentagon reporters Tuesday he learned the exam was allegedly shared among senior enlisted operators after one sailor reported it to the command on Feb. 3. “To say that I’m disappointed would be an understatement,” Greenert said during the same briefing. “Whenever I hear about integrity issues, it’s disruptive to our unit’s success and it’s definitely contrary to all of our core values.” Richardson emphasized that the alleged cheating involved propulsion reactors, not nuclear weapons. “The training reactors were shut down for routine maintenance when we learned of this incident,” he noted. All personnel implicated in the cheating investigation “have been removed from the site” and “their access has been revoked.” Just like Air Force Global Strike Command retested the entire missileer force after allegations surfaced about cheating at Malmstrom, the Navy also is retesting its personnel “to validate their knowledge,” said Richardson. (AFPS report) (Greenert/Richardson briefing transcript)
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.