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December 24, 2013

Air Force recruits in Texas to get more training

Air Force recruits at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, would get more training on life skills ranging from managing money to protecting themselves against sexual assault in a program expected to begin in 2014.

Recruits will spend up to a week after graduating from basic training to take an expanded skills course, the San Antonio Express-News reports. The program will be part of a series of basic training changes after a sex scandal at Lackland led to more than two dozen instructors convicted of wrongdoing involving trainees.

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Cody says the curriculum is being developed in Washington, D.C., and at the Air Force Air Education and Training Command in San Antonio. The “capstone course,” tentatively set for rollout next year, aims to offer a more relaxed environment where airmen could discuss issues such as sexual assault, stress and suicides.

“Will anybody ever be fully prepared for everything they might experience in life? I venture to guess the answer to that is no. You have to live some of life, you have to live and experience our Air Force,” Cody told the newspaper Dec. 19.

“But there are certainly some things that we can do, and we will do, that are going to better prepare them, … giving them some understanding about what is about to happen or could happen,” he said.

Lackland, since the sex scandal erupted, has installed more security cameras in its dorms, assigned two instructors to each group of recruits so one never is left alone with the trainees, and has begun to assign more senior instructors to basic training. Officials believe the measures, in responses to allegations of wrongdoing by instructors over the past several years, are making a difference. No instructors have been accused of assault this year.

Colleen McGee, with Lackland’s 37th Training Wing, said the base will have no problem keeping the graduates another week because it has two new dorms that each are capable of handling 1,200 recruits, and a third facility will open in early 2014.




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