The Air Force continues to investigate allegations of sexual misconduct by 12 of its male military training instructors at JBSA-Lackland, Tex., home of basic military training, said Gen. Edward Rice, Air Education and Training Command boss, June 28. So far, 31 female former trainees have come forward, describing abuse in incidents dating back to fall 2009, Rice told reporters during a Pentagon briefing. Nine of the accused 12 MTIs were in Lackland’s 331st Training Squadron, he said. Lackland officials earlier this month relieved the squadron commander of duty since “he was the commander of a unit in which an unacceptable level of misconduct occurred,” said Rice. Despite such misdeeds, Rice said the bad apples do not reflect on the professionalism of the other airmen in the MTI cadre, which numbers some 500. “My assessment to this point,” he said, is that this “is not an issue of an endemic problem throughout basic military training. It is more localized, and we are doing a very intensive investigation of that squadron to find out what exactly happened and why.” Rice said one option under consideration is to have female MTIs for female trainees. (Rice transcript)
The Air Force overall reduced its size by 120 aircraft in fiscal year 2021, but kept about the same number of fighter, bomber and attack aircraft, according to data supplied by the service. The F-35 fleet saw the biggest increase while the B-1B bomber fleet saw the largest decline.