On Wednesday, Air Force investigators announced the findings of their probe into cases of sexual assault by military training instructors at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland.
Since January 1, 2012, dozens of cases have been uncovered; five instructors have been convicted, one was punished for military violations, and General Edward Rice, Commander of the Air Education Training Command, said dozens of other charges are being considered.
It’s been nearly three years since Sandi and Owen Carlson lost their daughter, Nicci, in a tragedy that can only be described as unthinkable; their daughter, who was in her twenties, suffered carbon monoxide poisoning in her Austin apartment.
Nicci always wanted to do good deeds for others, and especially when the typical blistering weather turned cold. Before her death, she talked about a blanket drive that would “cover the cold.” Since her passing, her parents have collected blankets for distribution throughout the state in honor of their late daughter’s memory.
Another Air Force instructor under investigation is headed to an Article 32 hearing at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland this morning.
Staff Sgt. Eddy Soto of the 323rd Training Squadron is accused of rape and sexual assault in the case of one former trainee and of sexual assault against another. He also is accused of lying to officials and committing adultery, violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
An Air Force judge has postponed the sixth court martial in a series of cases against basic military training instructors at Joint Base San Antonio - Lackland.
The judge is allowing time for the Department of Defense to analyze cell phones messages between the Instructor and one of his trainees.
Staff Sgt. Craig LeBlanc is accused of crimes from aggravated sexual assault of two female trainees, to lying to military officials about his AWOL status after he was arrested in Comal County while he was partying with a trainee and didn’t make it back to the base.
Staff Sgt. Jason Manko is accused of violating Air Force regulations by developing a relationship with a female trainee. He came to court this morning prepared to enter a guilty plea on the charges against him.
Manko admitted to developing the relationship with a woman over a period of several months during the spring and summer of 2011, until he finally invited her to his home.
In light of the sex scandal at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, General Edward Rice has met with the Service Women’s Action Network (SWAN) to find ways to better educate trainers and support women in the Air Force.
More than a dozen instructors have been convicted or are under investigation for sexual misconduct involving about 30 female trainees.
SWAN’s mission is to support, defend and empower women in the military, as well as female veterans, through advocacy and initiatives.
Colonel Glenn Palmer oversaw the 737th Training Group, where all the enlisted men and women in the Air Force train, since July of last year.
According to Air Force leaders, a loss of confidence in Palmer led to the decision to remove him from his duties, as the investigation into more than a dozen training instructors accused of sexual misconduct with trainees continues.
The Air Force said Colonel Eric Axelbank, the leader of the 37th Training Wing that encompasses the 737th, made a deliberate effort to fit the right leadership with the group.