Five sailors at Naval Air Facility Atsugi are being investigated for having access to a promotion exam before the test, Navy officials said Wednesday.

The sailors — part of the base’s Personnel Support Detachment unit — are being investigated by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service at Atsugi, base spokeswoman Sandra Arnold said.

They are suspected of being involved with improper access to an advancement exam for first class petty officers, she said.

Few other details were available Wednesday afternoon, including names of those involved, what test cycle was involved or when the investigation began. It’s possible the case could involve more sailors, Arnold said.

The advancement exams are part of the process for getting promoted at the mid-level enlisted ranks in the Navy, according to Navy regulations.

It was unclear Wednesday what the cheating, if proved, would mean for the sailors involved. It was also unclear whether they would lose rank or if the investigation would find that other sailors who scored lower on the same test could be promoted.

The unit this week transferred from the control of Yokosuka Naval Base. It was formerly known as the Customer Support Desk unit.

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