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U.S. Navy ends lunchtime dance shows at Subic

SUBIC BAY NAVAL BASE, Philippines -- The U.S. Navy said Friday it would discontinue lunchtime shows involving female Filipino dancers at Subic Bay Naval Base.

Officials said cost concerns triggered the move, not recent complaints by female sailors.

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Lt. Cmdr. Al Twyman said a continuing pullout from the facility scheduled to be completed by the end of the year had drastically cut the number of customers at clubs on base.

'The lunchtime shows will stop this weekend because it's no longer financially feasible for us to do them,' he said.

The unofficial military newspaper 'Stars and Stripes' reported Thursday some female sailors had taken offense to the shows, which featured professional female dancers dressed in costumes ranging from full-length dresses to swimsuits.

'We don't want to sit there watching the guys drool over the women,' Petty Officer 2nd Class Heather Furse told the paper.

'Navy policy says there's no tolerance for sexual harassment when there are dancers in the club here, and I find that inconsistent.'

Complaints about misconduct by Navy aviators at a convention last September in Las Vegas, Nevada generated widespread controversy over sexual harassment in the U.S. military.

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'Stars and Stripes' printed a news story on its front page Friday on the incident, in which at least 26 women, more than half Navy officers, were assaulted at a convention of Navy and Marine aviators.

Secretary of the Navy H. Lawrence Garrett relieved one admiral and ordered disciplinary action against 70 other officers in connection with the case.

The Navy said the lunchtime shows at Subic were 'tasteful' and consistent with its policy against sexual harassment.

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