Air Force officials aim to eliminate sexual assault
Following a nine-month investigation into sexual misconduct at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, the Air Force has implemented a comprehensive program aimed at eliminating sexual assault; senior Air Force leaders told Congress recently.
Air Force Chief Of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh III and Air Force Gen. Edward Rice Jr., Air Education and Training Command commander, spoke before the House Armed Services Committee about the Air Force’s recently completed internal investigation.
Describing the crimes as “stunning,” Welsh said there could be no excuses. “There’s no justifiable explanation, and there is no way we can allow this to happen again,” he said.
“The Air Force goal for sexual assault is not simply to lower the number. The goal is zero,” Welsh added. “It’s the only acceptable objective. The impact on every victim, their family, their friends [and] the other people in their unit is heart-wrenching, and attacking this cancer is a full-time job, and we are giving it our full attention.”
The effort includes an Air Force-wide health and welfare inspection, held in December, the results of which are publicly available, Welsh said. Also last month, Welsh used his monthly “Letter to Airmen” to reinforce “that obscene, vulgar or disrespectful images, songs or so-called ‘traditions’ are not part of our heritage and will not be accepted as part of our culture.”
KC-132s received new, more fuel-efficient and longer-running engines, replacing the original ones from the 1970s.
The U.S. Air Force began transporting French soldiers and military equipment Jan. 21 from Istres to Bamako, Mali, in support of French military operations.
Airmen assigned to the 603rd Air Control Squadron returned to Aviano Air Base from their final deployment in Southwest Asia before the squadron is inactivated later this year.
Five sets of family members from the Wisconsin Air National Guard are currently deployed with the 727th Expeditionary Air Control Squadron.