New Training Leader, Another Court Martial at San Antonio’s Lackland Air Base
Another instructor at San Antonio’s embattled Lackland Air Force Base goes to trial today, as the new head of base training takes command.
The Associated Press reports the court martial of Staff Sgt. Jason Manko begins today. The AP writes Manko “is accused of sexual misconduct and trying to start a relationship with a recruit at the Air Force's headquarters for basic training.”
Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, some 90 miles southwest of Austin, oversees basic training for all new Air Force recruits. The base has been rocked by a string of trials involving sex and sexual assault between instructors and new recruits – scandals that have lead to several changes in command personnel.
On Friday, the San Antonio Express-News profiled the new leader of Lackland’s 737th Training Group: Col. Deborah Liddick.
“Col. Liddick was the best-qualified officer that I think I could have made a recommendation for,” Col. Mark Camerer, commander of the 37th Training Wing, told the San Antonio Express-News. "She's a former commander, she has experience in command leading airmen, and that's what I wanted,” he added, calling her “an experienced, decent commander who could deal with this situation.”
Despite the scandal, which the AP writes has affected 40 female recruits, Lackland commander Col. Mark Camerer has downplayed the role of Liddick’s gender in her selection. He tells the Express-News “I don't see how it makes a difference one way or the other. She has the skills, the attributes, the capabilities to do the job.”