Last week the Military Sexual Assault Prevention Caucus, which I co-chair, received a special briefing by the Air Force on the progress of their investigations into the sexual assault scandals at Lackland Air Force Base. On Thursday, USAF General Edward A. Rice, Jr. and USAF Major General Margaret H. Woodward provided a briefing to the Military Personnel Subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee. After the briefing, I met personally with General Rice to discuss in further detail what went awry at Lackland. Then on Friday morning seven generals met with the Caucus to discuss the cases. As the Air Force completes its examination of the events at Lackland, those of us tasked with overseeing the military will be holding their feet to the fire, making sure they fully address the larger problems that allow these types of crimes to occur.
The Department of Defense announced this week it will be instituting measures to improve how military training addresses the issue of sexual assault. These measures are in response to the Defense STRONG Act, a bill I authored and is now law. The Secretary's announcement is a positive step toward addressing the serious matter of sexual assault in our military. However, we must continue to make progress and I will maintain a tight watch on the actions taken by the Department of Defense to ensure the safety of our servicemen and women and strength of our military.