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USAF drug probe spreads to Britain

A US Air Force investigation into alleged drug use has expanded to include 10 officers at six bases in the US and Britain.

Nine lieutenants and one captain are being investigated for illegal possession of recreational drugs, Air Force spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Brett Ashworth said yesterday.

The case began with the investigation of two officers at Edwards Air Force Base in California and quickly widened to several other bases because of the airmen's contacts with others about drug possession, he said.

The probe surfaced on Thursday as Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel visited FE Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming to give a pep talk to members of the nuclear missile force.

Initially, officials revealed that two nuclear launch control officers at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana were being investigated for drug use.

Yesterday Lt Col Ashworth said the probe now includes officers at Edwards and Malmstrom as well as at Schriever Air Force Base in Colorado, Vandenberg Air Force Base in California and Royal Air Force base Lakenheath in eastern England, which hosts US Air Force units and personnel.

No other details about the investigation, which is being conducted by the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, are being released.

AP

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