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MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Sen. Tammy Baldwin has asked Air Force board to attending into allegations of animal advance and aggravation aural a Wisconsin Air National Guard assemblage that were brushed abreast by chief officers, according to a affiliate of the unit.
The Wisconsin Democrat beatific a letter to the Air Force appointment that handles aldermanic inquiries in mid-November allurement it to investigate the claims involving associates of the 115th Fighter Wing’s Aegis Forces Squadron, a accumulation of about 100 airmen that polices the Truax Acreage Air National Guard Abject in Madison.
Baldwin fabricated the appeal afterwards accepting a letter from Jay Ellis, a adept baker in the aegis squadron. Ellis wrote that he abstruse of six incidents of animal aggravation or animal advance adjoin changeable associates of the fleet that happened amid 2002 and 2016, and that baronial admiral accept done little to abode them.
“There’s a ability in our assemblage … (that) animal misconduct, depending on who does it, it’s no big deal,” Ellis told The Associated Press during a contempo interview.
Sexual assaults accept bedeviled the U.S. aggressive for years. In budgetary year 2017 abandoned the four branches accustomed 5,864 letters from aggressive associates who said they had been sexually assaulted ancient during their service, up 10 percent from 2016, according to Department of Defense data.
The Air Force Appointment of Special Investigations, or AFOSI, told Baldwin that her appeal had been referred to cadre amenable for the Madison area. Baldwin wrote aback allurement the appointment to affirm an analysis had begun.
“If there is a ability of animal aggravation at Truax acreage it is acute that accomplish be absolutely taken to betrayal abnormal activity and booty alleviative activity to ensure a safe and adapted appointment environment,” Baldwin wrote.
AFOSI admiral didn’t acknowledge to an email from the AP allurement whether an analysis was underway. Ellis told the AP that board from Scott Air Force Abject in Illinois contacted him on Nov. 16 and asked him for capacity of the incidents and the names of those involved.
Maj. Penny Ripperger, a backer for the 115th Fighter Wing, said Thursday that as far as she knew, AFOSI board had not accomplished out to anyone on the division’s administration aggregation apropos Ellis’ allegations.
Asked if a ability of animal aggravation or advance exists aural the wing, she said such behavior isn’t acceptable and that allegations are taken seriously. Airmen accept common training on animal advance and aggravation that includes how to abode incidents confidentially, she said.
“Our alignment actively encourages a ability of advertisement and seeks to advance an ambiance area victims feel adequate advancing forward,” Ripperger said.
Ellis said there’s no affidavit of the incidents he brought to Baldwin’s absorption because the women didn’t book academic complaints.
One of the women declared her affliction during a contempo account with the AP. She batten on action of anonymity. The AP about doesn’t analyze declared animal advance victims after their permission.
The woman said she and a acquaintance were sexually assaulted by above admiral in the aegis assemblage during a 2002 affair at Silver Flag Alpha Range, a training abject alfresco Las Vegas, as the assemblage was advancing to arrange to Iraq. She said she didn’t book a academic complaint because she feared retaliation, but that she did abode the advance to her blaze aggregation commander, Pat Konz.
Konz, who was again a abstruse baker but who has back retired from the Air National Guard, told the AP that he accurate the woman’s claims in his claimed notes, which the woman supplied the AP. Konz said he anesthetized on the allegations to a chief adept baker in the aegis unit, but it alone resulted in the woman actuality addled during the deployment.
Ellis additionally alleges that in 2008 at the Madison base, a abstruse baker fabricated inappropriate animadversion to changeable airmen, and that he approved to kiss one and afraid two others. Among those who said he fabricated “crass” animadversion to was the woman who told the AP she was assaulted at the Nevada abject in 2002.
Ellis said he met with the aegis unit’s commander, Maj. Kristin Boustany, alert in 2015 to altercate the baneful ability of blowing and abhorrence aural the unit. He said he didn’t accession the animal delinquency allegations with her because he didn’t accept the victims’ permission.
He told the AP that he approached aggressive according befalling admiral aftermost October with the allegations, but the appointment capital to allocution to the alone victim still with the National Guard and she banned to appear forward.
In his letter to Baldwin, Ellis additionally alleges that in 2016, a changeable administrator was discussing her sex activity with a macho administrator during a breach in training. A added chief macho administrator chimed in from beyond the allowance so that anybody could hear, Ellis wrote, acquainted that it was “inappropriate” for him to accept done so.
Ellis said he appear the adventure in an bearding assurance analysis that went to Boustany, who in acknowledgment warned the absolute assemblage to “know your audience” during two assemblies in 2017.
Ripperger, the 115th spokeswoman, said Boustany wasn’t accessible for an interview. She additionally acknowledged that Boustany was in command of the fleet in 2015, adage she didn’t booty over until 2017. Ripperger didn’t anon acknowledge to a aftereffect concern to analyze Boustany’s appointment in 2015.
The AP approved to get animadversion from the men accused in the six incidents that Ellis cited in his letter. It was clumsy to acquisition a buzz number, abode or email abode for one of the men and the others either beneath to altercate the allegations or didn’t acknowledgment to voicemails or emails.
Ellis said he absitively to appear advanced now because he doesn’t abhorrence backfire with aloof two years to go until he retires.
“This ability has created, and continues to advance an abundantly adverse and baneful appointment environment,” Ellis wrote to Baldwin. “I am allurement for someone, anyone, to added investigate what has been accident at the 115th SFS.”
This adventure has been adapted to reflect that Ellis says he did not accession the animal advance allegations with the fleet administrator in 2015 and that he appear the 2016 adventure in which a macho administrator commented on a changeable subordinate’s sex activity in an bearding assurance survey, not anon to the commander.
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