Air Force

Air Force

Air Force requesting jurisdiction of Arlington sexual assault case

The Air Force has requested jurisdiction of a criminal case where its former chief of sexual assault prevention is accused of sexual assault.

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh told a congressional panel Tuesday that the Air Force had requested jurisdiction from the Arlington County prosecutor in the case of Lt. Col. Jeff Krusinski, who was arrested Sunday and charged with sexual battery.

Arlington County police accused Krusinski of groping a woman in a parking lot in Crystal City, where he was arrested early Sunday morning.


Air Force secretary defends general amid calls for his ouster

Air Force Secretary Michael Donley defended Lt. Gen. Craig Franklin on Tuesday as a sexual assault victims advocacy group called for his firing over the dismissal of a guilty verdict in a sexual assault case.

Donley said that the Air Force’s review of the case found there was nothing “untoward” in Franklin’s conduct and decision to dismiss the guilty verdict of Lt. Col. James Wilkerson in a post-trial review.

“In this particular case, all of the parties to the investigative process through the trial performed their duties as outlined in the [Uniform Code of Military Justice],” Donley said at a Tuesday breakfast with reporters.


Obama names four to Air Force commission

President Obama named four members Monday to the newly crated National Commission on the Structure of the Air Force.

The commission was created in the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to study the appropriate make-up of the Air Force, after Congress and governors were angry at the service's proposal to cut Air Guard units.

A compromise was ultimately reached for the 2013 budget proposal, but the Armed Services Committees included a provision creating the commission in order to “place the Air Force's judgment on appropriate force structure mixes under the scrutiny of a national commission.”


Obama picks Gen. Breedlove for top European post

President Obama is nominating Air Force Gen. Philip Breedlove to be the top U.S. commander in Europe and NATO Supreme Allied Commander for Europe.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced Thursday that Breedlove would be tapped for the new role after former U.S. commander in Afghanistan Gen. John Allen passed on it earlier this year.

Breedlove would replace Adm. James Stavridis, who has been head of U.S. European Command since summer 2009.


Beechcraft files suit over disputed Air Force contract

Beechcraft has taken another step in its bid to stop an Air Force contract awarded to competitors with a new lawsuit filed Thursday.

Beechcraft filed a lawsuit in the Court of Federal Claims to contest the Air Force’s recent decision allowing Sierra Nevada Corp. and Brazil’s Embraer move forward with the contract while the Government Accountability Office (GAO) conducts a review.

The lawsuit is only the latest attempt by the Wichita, Kan.-based defense firm to stop the Air Force from awarding the $427 million light air support contract to Embraer and Sierra Nevada to build 20 planes for the Afghan military.


Armed Services panel questions Hagel over overturned assault verdict

The leaders of the House Armed Services Committee joined a growing chorus of lawmakers questioning why a guilty verdict in an Air Force sexual assault case was overturned.

Armed Services Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) and ranking member Adam Smith (D-Wash.) sent a letter to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel Thursday requesting an explanation over a sexual assault case at Aviano Air Base in Italy, in which Air Force Lt. Gen. Craig Franklin tossed out Lt. Col. James Wilkerson’s one-year sentence and dismissal.

They also asked Hagel about the underlying authority a commander has in the military judicial system to single-handedly overturn verdicts, and suggested they were considering changes to the system in this year’s Defense authorization bill.