Houston: The US Air Force removed a top training commander at a Texas base on Saturday after a series of investigations of sexual misconduct by instructors at the base.
Col Glenn Palmer, who has commanded Air Force basic training at Lackland Air Force Base for a little over a year, will be removed from that position immediately and will be reassigned, said Colleen McGee, chief of public affairs for the 37th Training Wing at Lackland.
"There's no wrongdoing on Colonel Palmer's part," McGee said in an interview. "It s a lack of confidence in his ability to maintain safe training for airmen."
Palmer's boss, Colonel Eric Axelbank, commander of the 37th Training Wing, "decided it was time that new leadership was needed," McGee said.
The Air Force has been investigating 15 military instructors at the Texas base for alleged sexual misconduct involving at least 38 victims.
Six of the instructors have been charged with crimes ranging from improper sexual advances to rape. The others are being investigated for allegations of sexual contact, non-physical contact through social media and, in at least two cases, some form of sexual assault.
As the allegations at Lackland have stacked up, victims of sexual assault in the military have pressed for congressional investigations and hearings.
Among those leading the push is Jennifer Norris, a veteran who said she medically retired in 2010 and was sexually assaulted while serving in the Air Force but not at Lackland.
Norris said she couldn't pass judgment on Palmer because she didn't know his involvement. If Palmer had no knowledge of the misconduct, Norris said, she worried about the chilling effect his ouster could have on leaders who might take his dismissal as a message that protecting their careers means covering up misconduct.