WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Lawmakers frustrated by a spate of high-profile military sexual assault cases unveiled draft proposals in the House of Representatives on Tuesday to crack down on the crime, but they stopped short the kind of overhaul sought by some officials.
The Republican-led personnel panel of the House Armed Services Committee proposed additions to the annual defense policy bill that would impose tougher penalties on people who commit sex crimes and would ensure better treatment for victims.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Under pressure to fight sexual assault, the U.S. armed forces in recent years rolled out education programs about proper sexual conduct through methods like role playing and video games.
The increase in education has nevertheless failed to prevent what the nation’s top general called last week “a crisis” after the Pentagon reported a 37 percent jump in the estimated number of sexual assault cases in 2012.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel ordered top military chiefs on Friday to redouble their effort to address the problem of sexual assault, saying the frequency and perceived tolerance of the crime was eroding the military’s ability conduct its mission.
“We’re going to fix this problem,” Hagel told a news conference a day after he and top military leaders met with President Barack Obama to discuss a series of incidents that have reduced confidence in the services’ handling of the crime.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A rash of scandals discrediting the U.S. military’s efforts to stamp out sexual assault is putting unprecedented pressure on Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to consider options that once appeared off limits to address sex crimes in the armed forces.
On Tuesday, the military disclosed that another one of its advocates for victims of sexual assault was himself being accused of sex crimes, including allegations linking him to prostitution.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A U.S. Army sergeant who worked as a sexual assault prevention coordinator at Fort Hood, Texas, has been accused of sex crimes, the Pentagon said on Tuesday, the second man in the military’s anti-sexual assault effort to be accused since last week.
News of the investigation sparked renewed anger and frustration over military’s inability to deal quickly with its sexual assault problem. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel expressed disappointment over the “breakdown in discipline” implied by the allegations, and lawmakers voiced outrage.
BUSH (Reuters) – The U.S. Navy made aviation history on Tuesday by launching an unmanned jet off an aircraft carrier for the first time, taking an important step toward expanded use of drones by the American military with an eye on possible rivals like China and Iran.
The bat-winged X-47B stealth drone roared off the USS George H.W. Bush near the coast of Virginia and flew a series of pre-programmed maneuvers around the ship before veering away toward a Naval air station in Maryland where it was scheduled to land.
WASHINGTON, May 14 (Reuters) – The U.S. Navy plans to make
aviation history on Tuesday by catapulting an unmanned jet off
an aircraft carrier for the first time, testing a long-range,
stealthy, bat-winged plane that represents a jump forward in
The X-47B, which can carry the equivalent of two
precision-guided bombs and fly 2,000 nautical miles in one trip,
is due to take off from the USS George H. W. Bush in the
Atlantic using the same sling-shot system that sends manned
aircraft aloft from the short runways aboard aircraft carriers.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Senators alarmed by a jump in sex crimes in the U.S. military called on Wednesday for a cultural overhaul of the Air Force and a lawmaker exposed a web page used by Marines that she said depicted a “culture of misogyny and sexual harassment.”
“I’m just fed up with this sexual assault stuff,” Senator Barbara Mikulski told a hearing with top Air Force leaders a day after the Pentagon released its 2012 annual report on sexual assault in the military, which showed a 37 percent jump in estimated sex crimes to 26,000.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration expressed outrage about a recent high-profile Air Force groping scandal on Tuesday as the Pentagon released a study estimating that the number of sex crimes involving military personnel soared 37 percent last year.
The annual Pentagon report, which estimated there were 26,000 sex crimes ranging rape to abusive sexual contact in 2012, came a day after the Air Force removed the officer in charge of its anti-sexual assault office for allegedly groping a civilian in a suburban parking lot near the Pentagon.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. lawmakers voiced outrage on Tuesday that the officer in charge of the Air Force anti-sexual assault office was himself arrested on sexual battery charges and sharply questioned Air Force leaders about whether the military should keep jurisdiction over sex crimes.
Air Force Secretary Michael Donley and Chief of Staff General Mark Welsh told the Senate Armed Services Committee they were appalled by the weekend arrest, but they resisted calls from some lawmakers to remove prosecutions of sexual assault and rape from the military chain of command.