Air Force emails airmen about sexual misconduct probe
By CHARLIE REED | STARS AND STRIPES Published: October 16, 2012
YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — The Air Force has sent an email to hundreds of thousands of current and former airmen as part of its probe into sexual misconduct at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, where 20 instructors recently have been investigated — some court-martialed — for abusing trainees.
On Tuesday, airmen who have attended basic training or technical school at Lackland in the past 10 years received an email asking them to report any incidents of “sexual assaults, sexual misconduct or unprofessional relationships” that occurred at the busy Texas base.
At least 43 females who trained at Lackland between 2009 and 2011 reported being sexually assaulted or raped by their male mentors. Five instructors have been convicted since July on charges ranging from adultery to sexual assault.
Tips can be made anonymously to a 24-hour hotline, according to the email from Air Education and Training Command, which oversees Lackland and is one of the service’s 10 major commands.
“Please call and help us to eradicate sexual misconduct in the Air Force,” reads the email, which addresses both active-duty airmen and those who have left the Air Force.
Meanwhile, the training base is adding instructors and installing more cameras in the dormitories, the San Antonio Express-News reported last week. Other policy changes are expected later this month following the release of an investigation led by AETC commander Gen. Edward Rice Jr., the newspaper said.
Some 36,000 recruits graduate each year from Lackland’s eight-week basic training camp. The Air Force’s only basic training site also serves as home to several technical schools — from active-duty Air Force security forces, pararescuemen and explosives experts to reservists and guardsmen training for a variety of logistics jobs.
In the wake of the Air Force scandal that surfaced this summer, the Defense Department in September directed each service to review training policies and procedures to help stamp out sexual assault in basic training. The review will focus on initial military training of new recruits, who are considered most vulnerable to sexual predators.
To reach the Air Force Education and Training Command, call (210) 652-0008 or DSN 312-487-0008.
Excerpts of the email from the Air Force Education and Training Command:
The AETC Commander is seeking any information regarding incidents of sexual assault, sexual harassment, or unprofessional relationships that occurred during basic military training or technical school with the United States Air Force. We are therefore reaching out to all members who have gone through BMT and/or technical school training in the last 10 years and soliciting your voluntary input...
If you have any information, please call and help us to eradicate sexual misconduct in the Air Force.
Reports can be made anonymously!
Call the AETC team, 24/7, at DSN 487-0008 or (210) 652-0008.