All sick rocket men entered the service at the end of the 90s of the last century and often descended in closed elevators to a great depth in the operational bunker. Sometimes the soldiers were there for several days. Despite the bunker’s thick concrete and steel lining, being near nuclear missiles could cause illness.
According to a report by US Space Force Lt. Col. Daniel Sebek, the officers were diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a common name for a variety of blood cancers.
“There are indications of a possible connection between cancer and service in the missile combat crew at Malmström airbase,” Sebek said.
According to Sibek, one of them died and four are still serving. The lieutenant colonel noted that the disproportionate number of sick officers is of particular concern: in total, some 3,300 people serve at the Malmström base, of which about 400 missile launchers. The average incidence of non-Hodgkin lymphoma is 19 cases per 100,000 people. Thus, at the Malmström base, the incidence was some 120 times higher than usual.
In 2022, the US conducted several tests of the Minuteman III ICBM. It is currently the only land-based ICBM in service with the United States. There are about 450 such missiles in the country’s arsenal.