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AETC Commander Says Fixes Are Working To Stop Assaults At JBSA-Lackland


The Air Force has put into place most of the institutional safeguards recommended to end the sexual assault problem at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland.

Gen. Edward A. Rice, Jr., commander of the Air Education and Training Command, said the remaining changes are more long-term, and will be added over the next two years.

The 45 recommendations came out of the commander’s investigation last fall, and Rice said 35 safeguards have been put into place over the past nine months that are already proving successful.

Those include increasing the minimum amount of experience required for instructor positions, adding leadership positions and more instructors to reduce stress and job-related fatigue, and a wing-man policy.

"No trainee outside of a large group setting can be by him or herself. So if they’re walking from point A to point B, they have to have at least another trainee with them to ensure that we provide another set of eyes and ears at the same time," he said. 

The program also has placed cameras in key areas, shut down closed-off rooms that could offer secrecy, and added telephones that trainees can use to quickly report an incident.

Rice, who is retiring in December, said the sexual assault problem has taken more time than any other single issue in his command, but he feels the challenge offered a chance for him and his team to elevate the basic training institution to a stronger position for the long-term. 

Eileen Pace is a veteran radio and print journalist with a long history of investigative and feature reporting in San Antonio and Houston, earning more than 50 awards for investigative reporting, documentaries, long-form series, features, sports stories, outstanding anchoring and best use of sound.