MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. — Airmen stationed at a North Dakota base known for housing the land-based leg of the nuclear triad are frantically searching for a Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile that went missing earlier this week, sources confirmed today.
"It was just here," said Lt. Jenna Singleton, a missileer. "Where the hell could this thing go?"
The 78,000-lb nuclear-tipped warhead was found to be missing during a standard inventory check on Wednesday. The incident came just days after Minot reported it had lost a box of grenades, an M240 machine-gun, four Humvees, and its commanding officer.
The commanding officer, while initially believed to have gone missing, was found in an unmarked barracks weeping in the fetal position, sources said. "I may have to go down to the Army-Navy surplus store and buy one out of my own pocket," Col. Matthew Brooks told reporters.
Defense officials have ruled out the possibility the warhead was accidentally launched from its silo. Instead, some suspect the 59-foot missile went missing as the result of an insider threat, leading to most airmen having their barracks rooms searched by military police.
Meanwhile, the base's top enlisted leader, Chief Master Sgt. Mark Brejcha, has been leading the search for the missile with a long line of Minot personnel, who have been told to step one foot at a time until the nuclear armory sight count is finally up.