no Lawmaker: Air Force changes policies after scandal
Thursday
April
24
2014
7:43 pm
Weather
  Search Again
  Home
  Local News
  State / National / World
  Sports
  Opinion / Letters
  Business
  Arts / Entertainment
  Lifestyle
  Obituaries
  Calendar
  Submit Event
  Comics / Games
  DJ Designers
  Archives
  Advertise With Us
  About Us
 

Check out our archive of Dining Guides - Yum!

Lawmaker: Air Force changes policies after scandal
October 03, 2012, 05:00 AM The Associated Press
AUSTIN, Texas — The Air Force is responding to a sex scandal at its training headquarters by reducing instructors’ working hours and cracking down on even those who swear at recruits, a lawmaker said Tuesday.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, said she was encouraged by policy changes at Lackland Air Force Base following a tour and meetings with commanders but remained concerned with whether the changes will stick. She said the goal is to reverse a culture of intimidation that left some trainees afraid to speak up.

Speier, who visited the San Antonio base with two other Democrats on the committee, said she was also told the Air Force is more rigorously vetting instructors and installing "drop boxes” on base where recruits can report instructor misconduct without being seen by instructors or filmed by surveillance cameras.

"Part of what they saw was just the intimidation and the beating down (of trainees),” the California congresswoman said. "They so intimidate the trainee that they become totally unable to speak up.”

Investigators say more than 40 women at Lackland in the past year had inappropriate contact with their instructors or were sexually harassed or raped. Five instructors have been convicted since July on charges ranging from adultery to sexual assault, and nearly a dozen more have been under investigation.

Last month, the Air Force put a female commander over the training wing where about 36,000 airmen graduate each year.

The appointment of Col. Deborah Liddick was not groundbreaking. Liddick is the Air Force’s third woman to take over basic training in the last decade. But her selection came at a crucial and visible moment for a base rocked by allegations of widespread misconduct among male instructors, dating back to last year.

Speier said she’s "not big on symbolism” but that she believes the new leadership is taking the scandal seriously.

"We have a cultural chasm that still needs to be closed. That’s going to take some time,” she said.

Speier toured the Texas base with fellow U.S. Reps. Susan Davis and Loretta Sanchez, also both Democrats from California.

It was the second visit to Lackland by members of the House Armed Services Committee in the past month. The panel’s chairman, California Republican Rep. Howard "Buck” McKeon, toured Lackland and left saying that he believed the Air Force was being diligent in its investigation.

———

Follow Paul J. Weber on Twitter: www.twitter.com/pauljweber


Print this Page Print this Page |  Bookmark and Share
<< Back
 
  


 
You are in the Archives

Exit
  RSS feed RSS
Daily Journal Quick Poll
 
Do you support a land swap between the city of San Carlos and the elementary school district so the Charter Learning Center could be built on North Crestview?

Yes
No
Not sure
 
 
 

 
 
  
 
  
 
 
 
 
©2014 Daily Journal - San Mateo County’s homepage