The Torchlight Initiative

Examining cancers and disorders within the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) Community.


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About The Torchlight Initiative

Torchlight is a non-government organization composed of current and former ICBM community members and their families.

Our mission is to address health issues of vital interest to the ICBM community, specifically, to address the higher rates of cancer and associated disorders amongst those that operated, maintained, supported, or protected ICBM delivery systems.

Our goal is to ensure the current and future ICBM environment is safe for all current and future personnel while continuing to support the vital deterrent capability inherent in the ICBM mission.

We will advocate for this community and ensure former and current community members receive education, health monitoring, health care, and when appropriate, VA claim service connection.


Elevated Levels of Carcinogens Found at 2nd Air Force Nuclear Missile Base | AUG 25, 2023

Test results from a survey of Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota found elevated levels of PCBs — chemical compounds that likely cause cancer — at the nuclear missile installation, according to the Air Force.

Carcinogens found at Montana nuclear missile sites as reports of hundreds of cancers surface. | AUG 9, 2023

The Air Force has detected unsafe levels of a likely carcinogen at underground launch control centers at a Montana nuclear missile base where a striking number of men and women have reported cancer diagnoses.

Missile Cancer Study team conducts 2nd batch of testing at ICBM bases| AUG 2, 2023

The Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine sent teams to all three intercontinental ballistic missile wings to test for exposure hazards within missile alert facilities.

The tests are part of the ongoing missile community cancer study.

Head of ICBM Cancer Study Says the Air Force Is ‘Fully Invested’ | June 28, 2023

The Air Force’s study into possible cancer risks associated with work on intercontinental ballistic missiles will be a comprehensive review—and will not favor the service over evidence, medical officials leading the effort insisted.

USAF’s New ICBM Cancer Study to Examine ‘Everyone Possible’ | May 18, 2023

The Air Force is pressing to find out why some Airmen and former Airmen who worked wth the nation’s intercontinental continental ballistic missile fleet are being diagnosed with blood cancer—years after the service dismissed such concerns in the early 2000s.

They handled nuclear missiles. Now they’re getting cancer | FEB 3, 2023

WASHINGTON POST | Mark Holmes spent his last 16 months battling Stage 4 non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, undergoing chemotherapy, committing his life story to home video for his kids to one day watch and wondering how he had gone from picture-perfect health to bedbound. When the former Air Force major died at 37 in 2020, he had no idea others from his base had developed the same cancer.



Our Vision


Torchlight educates and builds awareness on the health issues impacting our community and we will encourage the DoD to proactively monitor and screen the community.


Cancer Registry/Cancer Study

Torchlight maintains a self-reported registry of missile community cancer diagnoses to support and inform any data gathered by a formal study.  Torchlight aims to inform future study design and ensure third-party medical and environmental experts participate in any study.


The missile community’s permanent medical records should consistently and completely document all toxic exposures related to service.  We will advocate for our former/current/future missileers and their families to ensure they receive their earned compensation.


This is a cancer registry managed by a NGO. 

We are collecting this info to support or supplement a future study commissioned by proper authorities.  Please feel free to voluntarily register if you are/were part of the missile community and have a diagnosed cancer, blood or autoimmune disorder


Real Heroes. Real Stories.

On the battlefield, concealment is a survival skill | Off that battlefield,
transparency enables survival | Through the telling of each story, we are united as one | In the telling of the collective, we find our own.

These are our stories. This is our story. | A. Dietz


Diagnosed with NHL/B-Cell/Follicular

2018, at the age of 42.



Diagnosed with Cutaneous T-cell Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma

2015, at the age of 42.


Diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

2000, at the age of 28.



Diagnosed with NHL/Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

January 2022

Ryan Luecke

Diagnosed with NHL/Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

May 2020, at the age of 45.


Diagnosed with Seborrheic Dermatitis & Pruritus. 


Captain Jason Leo Jenness 04/06/1970-07/22/2001

Diagnosed with NHL/Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma.


Diagnosed with NHL/Mantle Cell Lymphoma.

30 Sep 2022 at age of 42.


MAJOR MARK HOLMES 12/21/1982-05/12/2020

Diagnosed with NHL/Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma

There’s no room for incomplete knowledge or substandard performance when caring for the missile community.

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