From our News Partners at WCBD-TV:

NCIS is investigating cheating allegations at the nuclear training school here in the Lowcountry.

Joe Kimmel knows a thing or two about nuclear training. During his Navy career, he was a nuclear instructor in New York, and here in the Lowcountry. "I was also the lead nuclear planner on the moored training ship for three years. And I was also a leading crew chief and nuclear planner on a different tour at the mooar for three years." He retired 14 years ago.

He worked as an instructor at Joint Base Charleston. He says to hear that 30 sailors are being investigated there for cheating, passing around answers to tests to pass certification to become instructors, it shocking. "I was shocked. I've never heard of that. I've never seen it in my experience like that.

He says he remembers taking those tests himself. "No, it's not easy. You know, even when I came back from sea to requalify, I had a difficult time doing it, and actually had to go to technical upgrading board before I was allowed to teach students. It's a difficult process."

While it is tough, there is no excuse for cheating. "It's not fair. It aint right, and it just demeans the whole Naval Nuclear Power Program… that's one of the cornerstones of nuclear power. When your integrity is in question, you are pretty much out of the program."

That is exactly what Admiral Richardson, the Director of the Navy's Nuclear Propulsion Program said on Tuesday at a press conference at the Pentagon. He said integrity issues usually mean you are removed from your program and the Navy.

Joe is hopeful, "It's probably just a one time thing that's happened. They've caught it, and they're doing corrective actions required."

Image courtesy of WCBD-TV.