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.