More Turnover, Turmoil at Lackland Air Base

Sep 5, 2012

A colonel has stepped down and a sergeant’s court martial begins, all against the backdrop of an ongoing sex and sexual abuse scandal at San Antonio’s Lackland Air Force Base.

Col. Eric Axelbank, who oversaw the 37th Training Wing at Lackland, stepped down yesterday. Col. Mark Camerer now takes his place. The San Antonio Express-News notes that while the Axelbank’s departure was officially described as routine, the transition ceremony was “uncharacteristically closed to the media.”

It’s the second upper-echelon personnel change in as many months, following the August dismissal of Col. Glenn E. Palmer, who served as commander of Air Force Basic Military Training at the 737th Training Group at Lackland, the base that oversees training for all new Air Force recruits. The Express-News describes Palmer as having “led efforts to raise awareness about the problem” of sexual abuse and sex between recruits and instructors on the base.

Additionally, today marks the opening of a trial against Lackalnd’s Master Sgt. Jamey Crawford. The Associated Press reports Crawford stands accused of having sex with and serving alcohol to a trainee, plus adultery and making a false statement. Another instructor, Staff Sgt. Kwinton Estacio, is scheduled to go to trial next week.