Harrasment

Woman picked to lead Air Force training base after sex scandal involving at least SIX male instructors

  • Col. Deborah Liddick is to command the 737th  Training Group
  • The Lackland Air Force Base in Texas is  where every new American airman reports
  • One in five recruits are women with most  instructors men
  • She takes over for Col. Glenn Palmer who was  ousted last month as attention to the scandal intensified

By Daily Mail Reporter

PUBLISHED:16:20 EST, 16  September 2012| UPDATED:17:22 EST, 16 September 2012

Change of leadership: Col. Deborah Liddick, pictured, has been chosen to lead the basic training unit at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, TexasChange of leadership: Col. Deborah Liddick, pictured,  has been chosen to lead the basic training unit at Lackland Air Force Base in  San Antonio, Texas

The U.S. Air Force has chosen a woman to lead  its basic training unit at a Texas base where dozens of female recruits have  alleged they were sexually assaulted or harassed by male instructors within the  past year.

Col. Deborah Liddick’s command of the 737th  Training Group, announced on Saturday, brings a distinctly new face of authority  to Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio where six male instructors were  charged with crimes ranging from rape to adultery.

There are other instructors still under  investigation.

The Air Force announced Liddick’s  appointment in a statement that didn’t mention the sex scandal or  highlight  choosing a woman to lead a unit where the number of women  identified by  military investigators as potential victims is approaching 40.

About one in five recruits at Lackland are  women, while most instructors are men.

‘I look forward to and have the utmost  confidence in having Col. Liddick  take the reins of basic military training,’  Col. Mark Camerer, commander of the 37th Training Wing at Lackland, said in the  statement.

Lackland is where every new American airman  reports for basic training, graduating about 35,000 each year.

Liddick is already stationed in San Antonio,  where she serves as chief of the maintenance division at the former Randolph Air  Force Base. She is scheduled to take command on Friday.

Crimes: Six male instructors at the Lackland Air Force base, pictured, have been charged in the last year with crimes ranging from rape to adultery while more are under investigation 

Crimes: Six male instructors at the Lackland Air Force  base, pictured, have been charged in the last year with crimes ranging from rape  to adultery while more are under investigation

Replaced: U.S. Air Force Col. Glenn Palmer, pictured, was ousted last month from the position Liddick takes as attention to the scandal intensified 

Replaced: U.S. Air Force Col. Glenn Palmer, pictured,  was ousted last month from the position Liddick takes as attention to the  scandal intensified

She takes over for Col. Glenn Palmer, who was  ousted last month as attention to the scandal intensified. Another commander at  Lackland was also relieved over the summer for what military prosecutors  described as a lack of confidence.

The most serious allegations at Lackland  involved Air Force Staff Sgt. Luis  Walker, sentenced to 20 years in prison  in July after being convicted of raping one female recruit and sexually  assaulting several others.

Walker, a married father with two  boys, was  found guilty on all 28 charges faced with prosecutors claiming that he had  sexual intercourse with four of 10 female recruits.

He faced life in prison.

Earlier this week, Staff Sgt. Kwinton Estacio  was sentenced to a year in prison and received a dishonorable discharge after  pleading guilty to having sex with a trainee. He faced up to 14 years in  prison.

In early August, Tech Sgt Christopher Smith,  33, was convicted on two of four counts of misconduct with basic trainees and  sentenced to 30 days in jail.

Tech. Sgt. Christopher Smith was sentenced to 30 days in jail and was reduced to Airman First ClassAir Force Staff Sgt. Luis Walker was sentenced to 20-years in prison for rape and sexual assault

Sentenced: Tech. Sgt. Christopher Smith, left, was  sentenced to 30 days in jail in August while Air Force Staff Sgt. Luis Walker,  right, was sentenced to 20-years in prison

Sentenced: Last week Staff Sgt. Kwinton Estacio was sentenced to a year in prison after pleaded guilty to having sex with a trainee 

Sentenced: Last week Staff Sgt. Kwinton Estacio was  sentenced to a year in prison after pleaded guilty to having sex with a  trainee

Among his charges Smith was found by jurors  having sought an intimate  relationship with a teenager trainee but not guilty  of making sexual  advances to her.

He was  also found guilty of a social relationship with a second trainee while innocent  of a charge of obstruction of justice.

His rank has been reduced to Airman First  Class, escaping the highest possible charge of a year in prison and full removal  from the Air Force with a bad conduct discharge.

Protect Our Defenders, an advocacy group that  has pressed Congress to hold hearing on the Lackland scandal, continued calling  for legislative changes to military policies with news of Liddick’s  appointment.

‘Hopefully, Col. Deborah Liddick will do a  great job,’ said Nancy Parrish, the group’s president. She added that what’s  occurring at Lackland is part of ‘a much broader problem endemic throughout all  the services.’

U.S. Rep. Howard ‘Buck’ McKeon, chairman of  the House Armed Services Committee, visited Lackland last week and said he  believed the Air Force was being diligent in its investigation. In August, the  White House pick for Air Force chief of staff was held up while Congress pressed  the service for answers about the scandal.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2204197/Col-Deborah-Liddick-command-Lackland-Air-Force-base-sex-scandals-involving-male-instructors.html#ixzz26h2tVVIu