Air Force makes changes amid sex scandal

Oct. 9, 2012 at 3:49 PM
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SAN ANTONIO, Oct. 9 (UPI) -- The U.S. Air Force said it will make improvements to increase safety for recruits at a Texas air base embroiled in a sex scandal.

Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland will see additional training instructors and more surveillance cameras in dormitories, said Maj. Gen. Leonard Patrick, who oversees the base as head of the 2nd Air Force.

Patrick added he was confident people "could be dissuaded from doing bad things, and that's the majority. I want to detect the few who do it," days before a sixth boot camp instructor, Sgt. Craig LeBlanc, was to go on trial on sex charges that could result in more than 53 years in prison if convicted, the San Antonio Express-News reported Tuesday.

Twenty basic training instructors have been investigated or are under investigation, and 45 women are listed as victims in a sex scandal involving male instructors preying on female recruits.

Other changes in boot camp, including the possibility of more female instructors, are coming, the Air Force said, and will be unveiled later this month.

Col. Steven Clutter, spokesman for the Air Education and Training Command, said the Command is "definitely interested in having more female instructors. There's a certain benefit to that."

A major question is whether the trysts and sexual assaults occurred because they were tolerated as part of the military culture. A report on an investigation led by AETC commander Gen. Edward Rice could address that issue, the newspaper said.

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