Air Force institutes reforms to prevent abuseBy CHRIS TOMLINSON
The Associated Press | November 15,2012AP PHOTO
Brig. Gen. Margaret Woodward, the 389th Airlift Wing Commander, waves on the tarmac of Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland. The U.S. Air Force announced Wednesday that it is changing how it selects the officers and instructors who train new recruits following a sex scandal that included 48 alleged victims.AUSTIN, Texas — The U.S. Air Force announced Wednesday that it is changing how it selects officers and instructors who train new recruits after a sex scandal at its training headquarters in which dozens of female recruits said they were improperly approached, sexually harassed or raped by male instructors.
Maj. Gen. Margaret Woodward, who investigated the Air Education and Training Command, said the biggest failure came from bad instructors who took advantage of a weak oversight system and the officers who did not adequately supervise them to catch the abuses.
“Interviews revealed that some (instructors) lacked the experience necessary to effectively serve as mentors and leaders and had little to no supervisory experience,” the investigation concluded. “This lack of experience is considered particularly relevant when a single (instructor) is generally responsible for a flight of 50 or more trainees.”
The investigation concluded that 23 instructors allegedly engaged in inappropriate or coercive sexual relationships with 48 recruits at Lackland Air Force base near San Antonio. Five people have been convicted in court martials on charges ranging from adultery to rape. Another person received administrative punishment, and additional instructors still could face criminal charges.
All U.S. airmen report to Lackland for basic training. It has about 500 instructors for about 35,000 airmen who graduate every year. While one in five recruits are women, most instructors are men.
In a written response to the investigation, the commander in charge of training said the Air Force will add more and better officers to supervise training units and require enlisted troops who hold instructor jobs to have more seniority.
“Leadership preparation will also be strengthened considerably through an expanded leadership orientation course that will place additional emphasis on the potential for abuse of power, sexual assault, unprofessional relationships, and maltreatment or maltraining,” Gen. Edward Rice Jr. wrote in his response to the investigation.
Rice also announced a new Military Training Oversight Council to make sure reforms are implemented and maintained.
The Air Force will also provide additional training for trainees and instructors on sexual assault and inappropriate relationships within the military.
Woodward made 45 recommendations for how to improve Air Force basic training to prevent future abuse, and Rice said the command has already instituted 13 and is on track to implement the rest by August 2013.
“Sexual attraction, power, and money are three of the most corruptive elements of the human condition, and two of these three are present in the basic military training environment,” Rice wrote. “If we do not take steps to address these corruptive elements persistently and positively, we will find ourselves in the same situation at some point down the road.”MORE IN Wire NewsKABUL, Afghanistan — The new leader of the Afghan Taliban faces the twin challenges of bringing... Full StoryBOSTON — Some U.S. colleges with overseas-study programs won’t touch Ukraine. Full StoryWASHINGTON — As lawmakers head out of the Capitol for a five-week summer recess, they leave... Full Story
- Most Popular
- Most Emailed
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day 1739, 'Richard Palmer' identified in prison at York Castle as the notorious outlaw DICK TURPIN; IN 1836, Battle of the Alamo begins near San Antonio de Bexar, Texas; 1896, the Tootsie Roll invented by LEO HIRSCHFELD.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1472, Orkney, Shetland islands put up as collateral by Norway to Scotland in lieu of dowry for MARGARET OF DENMARK on her marriage with JAMES III, king of Scotland; 1962, JOHN GLENN first American to orbit Earth.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: City mayoral candidates debate campaign issues; Hartford, Conn., woman still missing; Neal Goswami reports attempts to legislate suicide; local woman loses 100 pounds through TOPS program.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1878, JOHN TUNSTALL murdered near Lincoln, New Mexico, by the outlaw JESSE EVANS; in 1930, ELM FARM OLLIE first cow to fly in aircraft, first to be milked airborne; 1955, nuke test WASP; '79, snow in Sahara.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Rutland Herald News Editor Alan J. Keays and staff writer Gordon Dritschilo discuss stories planned for the February 18, 2015, edition of the newspaper: Winter budgets maxed, legal marijuana, Springfield bank job, USPS slowdown
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1249 AD, ANDRE of LONGJUMEAU is dispatched by LOUIS IX of France to meet the KHAGAN, ruler of the Mongol Empire; in 1804, during 1st Barbary War, STEPHEN DECATUR scuttles the pirate-held USS Philadelphia in Tripoli.