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Air Force cheating scandal doubles in size

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(CNN) — A cheating scandal by Air Force nuclear weapons officers has doubled in size, a U.S. military official told CNN.

The Air Force revealed earlier this month that 34 officers were alleged to have cheated or turned a blind eye to cheating on a proficiency exam for intercontinental missile launch officers at the Global Strike Command at Malmstrom Air Force base in Montana.

After further investigation, it appears another three dozen or so officers are also alleged to have cheated.

About 180 officers took the proficiency exam.

The alleged cheating apparently was carried out around last August and September by text and was the largest incident of its kind, the Pentagon has said.

The Air Force acknowledged the number of officers under investigation had grown but refused to offer specifics.

“To protect the integrity of the investigation, specific numbers will not be shared until the investigation is complete,” said Lt. Col. William Ashworth, an Air Force spokesman.

By Barbara Starr – CNN Pentagon Correspondent

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