Senator holds up AF chief’s confirmation

Senator holds up AF chief’s confirmation

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, has held up Air Force Chief of Staff nominee Gen. Mark Welsh’s confirmation over concerns with the service’s handling of the sexual assault scandal at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas.

“My hold on General Welsh will remain until I feel the Air Force is adequately addressing the unacceptable situation at Lackland and taking corrective steps to reform their training program to prevent this from happening again,” Cornyn wrote in an e-mailed statement.

At least 31 women have come forward to report sexual assaults in a scandal that has rocked Lackland, home to Air Force basic training. The women have said in court that basic training instructors used their power over female recruits to sexually assault them. One instructor has already been convicted and sentenced to 20 years in prison.


An Air Force two-star continues to lead an investigation to see how wide the scandal reached. So far, 35 instructors have been removed from their positions, with six already charged with sexual assault.

Welsh made it a point to show his disgust with the scandal during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee. He told the senators the service has failed in its efforts to curb the crime.

“What we have been doing is not working. It’s not for lack of effort,” he told Congress. “Everyone is trying to do the right thing and figure out some way of stopping this, but the fact is we haven’t. In fact, we haven’t even reversed the trend.”

Cornyn says he wants to see more done, especially in respect to the scandal at Lackland, which is located in his home state. A senator has the power to hold up a confirmation of a nominee.

This isn’t the first confirmation Cornyn has held up this year. He stepped in and has held up the confirmation for the Army’s top acquisition official, Heidi Shyu. He wants the Defense Department to put pressure on a Russian weapons company to stop selling military equipment to Syria before voting to confirm Shyu.

Cornyn is joined by U.S. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., in blocking Shyu’s confirmation.

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it’s not surprising that something as preventable as systematic sexual assault escapes Air Force management, considering their resource priority is F-35 “at all costs”. out of this new debacle, the “solution” that emerges will likely be more computer based training for everyone in the USAF. good piece, DoDBuzz.

The military better nip these scandals in the bud quick before they lose their autonomy.

I have a great idea — Female recruits are only trained by female TIs! God forbit we do it the way it worked in the past. Lean Forward — yea right!

Tony — unless the US decides to return to WAF & WAVE style arrangements when women first became a regular presence in the military it makes no sense to separate them. The rationale for not having gender-specific was the fact men and women are going to have to deal with the opposite sex during their military careers (however long or short); basic training was supposed to be that initial experience. The blame is not with the arrangement but with the abuse of the arrangement by NCOs that knew better and senior leadership that allowed the problem to permeate instead of stamping it out at the first opportunity.

Proof that sequestration is coming when the congress cant even get a replacement for Gen Schwartz confirmed over bickering in congress.

Not really, way back when Bush was was president, General Pace didnt get the normal second 2 year stint as Joint Chiefs head due to opposition from Senator Harry Read. Not at all uncommon for a confirmation to be delayed or derailed. Thats part of a Senators job , to approve or not

Congress needs to clean their own house, before they look at everyone else!

May I suggest the total cessation of military training as a suitable punishment, Senator Cornyn? The USAF is right on the going out of business curve anyway, and there is no stopping the out of control freight train. Embrace sequestration. The train wreck is certain. Why does Gen Welsh want to be the engineer at the throttle? He’s better off getting his WARN notice. It’s the Amityville Horror…“GET OUT”

Separate boots training for female recruits by female DIs has worked well for the Marines for the past 30+ years. It can be done, and works well. The AF might want to look to the others for best practices.

Now that “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” has been eliminated, it would be possible to assign “straight” women to units staffed by “gay” men and “lesbians” to units staffed by “straight” men. This would cut down on sexual harrasment as well as unwanted pregnancies.

Tried and can’t stop it? That’s tantamount to stating that the Air Force is in anarchy and has lost control. “We haven’t even reversed the trend.” Difficult to comprehend that a major national scandal in our military with this much visibility and congressional attention is reported this way by one of its flag officers during televised hearings. —

I wonder if the conduct has stopped but the reports of past conduct are still coming out? Difficult to imagine AF personnel are being identified, punished and are continuing to conduct themselves in this manner as if they were untouchable or invisible. —

I don’t get it.… Something doesn’t add up here.

the Air Force IS in anarchy and has lost control, follows the example of DoD, follows the example of the federal government, follows the example set by dysfunctional political leadership. it’s no surprise that the same mistakes get repeated over and over again.

This *** scandal at Lackland isn’t new. Was there 30+ years ago, and it was happening then, too.

This General is not being blamed for what happened at Lackland, but is simply a bargaining chip being used by the Congressman.

Steve, I fail to see how Welsh as the United States Air Forces in Europe (USAFE) commander would be able to affect what happened at Lackland AFB, Tx which is under Air Education and Training Command (AETC), another 4 star. Lets maybe learn a little bit about Air Force organization next time before making uneducated comments.

Icannot see how holding up a confirmation on a general officer who ha absolutely nothing to do with Lackland. How many sex scandals can we find in the US Senate. Of course, the politicians get away with this — the Kennedys were fine examples. Who fired them?

I think that this is all a symptom of the loss of our love of our father in heaven. Our loving God is very unhappy with our nation. This can not be tolerated in our nation or the military. As an Air Force veteran I am very distressed by such dishonor as this. As one who served in the Cuban Missile threat we can do better than this. I agree with the senator. When I was in the service all who served whether Officer or enlisted were expected to serve with honor.

Sgt. USAF retired James Gooch, Jr.

Now that moral rules long enforced by every society that wants to survive and prosper have been overruled by the weak and the decadent Administration and their decadent outside rulers, should we be surprised that more moral turpitude has spread.

How about we just kick the senator out of the senate? Still, I am in favor of holding the General’s confirmation if there is a continuing perception that justice has not prevailed in this sexual assault scandal. And, don’t confirm the general’s appointment if he supports homosexuals serving in the ranks. Keep it simple stupid, stupid. Here’s an idea, how about separating the men from the women during training? Oh, the liberals don’t like that. What a bunch of cowards the military brass has become.

Obviously the person replying above doesn’t have a clue about “This General!” General Welsh is an outstanding leader, who is arriving at the “right place” (the next Air Force Chief of Staff upon confirmation) at the right time (now) to deal with this issue & many more for the US Air Force & the military as a whole. He is a “no nonsense” leader w/ the “people & leadership skills” to take care of business. Stop the stereotyping of General Officers. Very funny how this Senator has time to “get his name in lights” for this, but can’t seem to get anything else done in this “Do Nothing, Sorry, Good-for-Nothing Congress!” If you want to stereotype positions, start w/ the “politicians” who seem to have nothing but their stupid party affiliations & personal agendas in mind, instead of what’s in the best interests of our country.

Sure hold up the new Chief of Staff and for what. He needs to be confirmed and take charge. Cornyn like most of the senate are nothing but a bunch of spoiled boys and girls. You can’t be confirmed until I say so. I could certainly see Senator Boxer pulling something like this. I agree with some of the other comments on separating the sexes during boot camp. It worked fine for me in 1962. The Corps still does it the right way.

In this respect, we should ALL defer to Marine wisdom. Obviously there isn’t any wisdom in the AETC. Separation during Basic, especially as long as Congress still thinks there isn’t any such thing as women in combat, might be better protection for the women recruits. Especially when I think about their anti-gay lectures: I’d hate to think women recruits drew their version of male service mentality from pictures of stick figures having intercourse in a foxhole under fire…

Yes, before there were Democrats, there was no rape in the military. Except that male homosexuality as well as rape was flagrant in the ancient Persian, Greek and Roman armies (god knows what happened in the navies): the museums have the pictures but they don’t generally show them for the sake of the children. Rape of almost ANY male or female servant was the norm rather than a crime in any society allowing slaves. The impact of Christianity was NOT to stop all homosexuality or violent sex crimes (or slavery), especially not in the “Big Church”. The only real rule long enforced by surviving and prosperous societies is “Whoever has the gold, makes the rules.”

Don’t confuse love with sex and don’t assume all love is created by religion.

And thanks for ignoring the contributions of women in the US armed services and the more dangerous parts of scientific research. I’d send you a history book, but I’m not sure it’ll have enough pitchers in it…

Even though all types of moral decadence took place in the past centuries that did not make it proper. God loves us, he imparts grace, love and understanding to his people. He loves us but cannot stand our sin. these are the reasons he sent his son to the earth to redeem us from our original sin. These are the reasons that all of the powers of the earth failed in the past. If we don’t cease and desist from evil we as a nation are domed. Nero is an example of this nasty behavior.

James A. Gooch

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