American nuclear chief investigated over casino cheating

Navy Vice Admiral Timothy Giardina is accused of using counterfeit poker chips at an Iowa casino

Apparently, the US military would prefer the officers in charge of its nukes not be the gambling sort. Over the weekend it emerged that Navy Vice Admiral Timothy Giardina, the second-in-command of the US nuclear arsenal, is the subject of an illegal gambling investigation into the use of counterfeit poker chips at an Iowa casino. Admiral Giardina, who has not been arrested or charged, was suspended from his duties on 3 September, officials said on Saturday.

The admiral, a highly decorated submariner, graduated from the US Naval Academy in 1979 and has been awarded the Navy Distinguished Service Medal, among several others, during his 34-year career. Before taking up his current post at the US Strategic Command in 2011, he was the deputy commander of the Navy’s Pacific Fleet.

The Iowa authorities reportedly launched an investigation of Admiral Giardina on 16 June, after being alerted to the possible use of counterfeit gambling chips in poker games at the Horseshoe Casino in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Robert Kehlerr, the Air Force General who heads Strategic Command, learned of the investigation a month later, and referred Giardina’s case to the US Naval Criminal Investigation Service. Special agent David Dales of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation told the Associated Press that the case involved “a significant monetary amount”.

The Strategic Command is based around 18 miles from the Horseshoe, across the Missouri River at Offutt Air Force Base outside Omaha, Nebraska. It oversees the military’s nuclear-armed submarines, its nuclear bomber planes and its land-based nuclear missiles, as well as its satellites and cyberwarfare operations. Giardina remains assigned to the Command, but has been suspended from nuclear-related duties and other activities requiring security clearance, according to Command spokesperson Captain Pamela Kunze.

It is not known whether Admiral Giardina’s alleged actions compromised national security or Strategic Command operations, but Kunze said General Kehlerr had recommended he be reassigned. Admiral Giardina was previously scheduled to rotate out of his post later in 2013.

The US nuclear establishment had already been having an off year. In May, 17 launch control officers assigned to the maintenance of nuclear missiles at Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota were sidelined following a safety inspection. The officer in charge of their training was later relieved of duty. Last month, a missile unit at Montana’s Malmstrom  Air Force Base also failed a nuclear safety and security inspection; the commanding officer there was also relieved of duty.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Office / Sales Manager

£22000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Established and expanding South...

Recruitment Genius: Administrative Assistant / Order Fulfilment

£14000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity to join a thrivi...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consulta...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consulta...

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones