The Air Force has released a report following a six-month investigation, substantiating 16 [of the 38] allegations against eight [of 16] officers at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., who failed to prevent or investigate sexual harassment, condoned or refused to remove sexually offensive material and tolerated on-duty alcohol consumption.
Most recent articles on the high visibility sexual scandals in the Air Force have focused on charges of sexual assault, largely with reference to the Lackland basic training incidents. Despite a fairly thorough article at the New York Times(which included that topic), almost no one has been talking about Air Force Technical Sergeant Jennifer Smith — who is threatening to sue the US Air Force over the sexually-charged atmosphere in the fighter pilot world. (The Air Force Times picked up on the story just days ago.)
This is particularly notable in light of the recent “health and welfare inspection” ordered by Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen Mark Welsh, since the inspection seems to precisely target some of TSgt’s Smith’s allegations (yet the media continues to connect it to other accusations). Notably, there are reports Shaw AFB — where TSgt Smith reportedly lodged the complaint – did a “health and welfare” inspection weeks before Gen Welsh ordered it Air Force wide. The organization representing TSgt Smith, “Protecting our Defenders,” certainly made the connection.
As noted in the New York Times more than a month ago, TSgt Smith has filed an “administrative complaint” (PDF, with attachments) that reads much like a primer on the vices of the fighter pilot world. She seeks Continue reading →