The US Air Force is investigating if its soldiers had accidentally disclosed the locations of its nuclear bases in Europe through an application they used to memorize security protocols, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told reporters on Tuesday.
“The Department of the Air Force is investigating the suitability of information shared via study flashcards… All US weapons are safe and secure,” Kirby said during a briefing.
Kirby added that it is a Defense Department policy “to neither confirm nor deny the presence or absence of nuclear weapons at any specific location.”
Last week, the Bellingcat investigative website reported that US soldiers designated to guard nuclear weapons in Europe used publicly visible flashcard applications and accidentally exposed several crucial security protocols about the US nuclear weapons and their location.
According to reports, the defense staff turned to sites such as Quizlet, Chegg Prep and Cram to record codes, jargon, and even the status of nuclear vaults.
Author Foeke Postma described that the researchers were able to identify the flashcards belonging to the soldiers by searching for certain terms known to be associated with nuclear bases.
The result was the uncovering of several sets of flashcards exhibiting critical data about several nuclear bases in Germany, the Netherlands and Turkey.
One set of 70 cards with the title “Study!” revealed the number of live and non-live nuclear weapons at the Volkel Air Base in the Netherlands, which the country considers ‘highly classified’.
With Inputs From Sputnik