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KNOB NOSTER, Mo. (AP) — Members of an Air National Guard wing at Whiteman Air Force base have become the first citizen airmen certified to take part in dropping nuclear bombs.

The Kansas City Star reports the Air National Guard's 131st Bomb Wing at Whiteman Air Force Base has passed the Pentagon's stringent Initial Nuclear Surety Inspection, which means it can assist in delivering nuclear bombs.

The wing's certification by the Air Force Global Strike Force Command enables more than 700 Guardsmen, working alongside active-duty airmen, to load nukes into B-2 Spirit stealth bombers and fly them on the orders of the U.S. president.

The Air Force keeps secret the details of the process for certifying air units for nuclear missions. The inspection at Whiteman took four days, and certification was awarded this month.

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