Today, Congressman Mike Turner wrote to General Edward A. Rice Jr., Commander of Air Education and Training Command, to request an immediate briefing regarding widespread sexual assault allegations at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, TX. This is particularly alarming because it was perpetrated by military training instructors (MTIs) on recruits.
“The nature of their position grants MTIs a great deal of authority over young and impressionable recruits,” wrote Turner. “During this process recruits should be learning the leadership values requisite to build the finest Air Force in the world. Instead, it appears that a systemic breakdown led to the creation of an environment that harbored the basest level of criminal activity at an unimaginable scale.”
Turner is a Co-Chairman of the Sexual Assault Prevention Caucus in Congress. As a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee he has focused this important issue which impacts our servicemembers. This Congress, he introduced the Defense Sexual Trauma Response and Good Governance (STRONG) Act. Many of this bill’s provisions were included in the FY 2012 National Defense Authorization Act and have become law.
“Sexual assault has tremendous detrimental effects on both the victim and the unit. Its presence impacts readiness and morale while degrading the reputation of the Servicemembers that defend our nation. Over the past several years I have worked diligently with my colleagues in the House Armed Services Committee to implement laws to prevent sexual assault and protect the Servicemembers victimized by this violent crime,” added Turner.