Then-Maj. Michael B. Black walks toward an aircraft on the Duke Field, Fla., flightline in August 2016. (U.S. Air Force/Samuel King)
EGLIN AFB — An officer with the 919th Special Operations Group, an Air Force Reserve unit headquartered at Duke Field near Crestview, Florida, has been charged with multiple counts of sexually assaulting a female senior airman while deployed to Uganda two years ago, according to a charge sheet provided by Eglin Air Force Base's public affairs unit and online reporting in the Air Force Times newspaper.
Sen. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.), the first female Air Force pilot to fly a combat mission, has come forward as a military sexual assault survivor.
"My drive to fight against sexual assault in the ranks is not from the outside looking in. It is deeply personal," McSally said on Tuesday at the opening of a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on sexual assaults at the service academies.
McSally's voice was full of emotion as she told witnesses at Tuesday's hearing, "I also am a military sexual assault survivor."
Incidents of sexual assault and other unwanted sexual contact at the three military service academies have spiked nearly 50 percent since 2016, defense officials announced on Thursday.
The term "unwanted sexual contact" is used to describe behaviors that constitute sexual assault under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, including rape, aggravated sexual contact, and abusive sexual contact, said Nate Galbreath, deputy director of the Pentagon's Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office.
A total of 747 midshipmen and cadets responded that they had been the victim of unwanted sexual contact as part of a biennial survey, compared with 507 victims in 2016, Galbreath told reporters on Thursday as the Pentagon released its annual report on sexual harassment and violence at the military service academies.
A psychologist at Travis Air Force Base in California was found guilty on Friday of sexually assaulting military officer patients who were seeking treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder, The Daily Republic reported.
A new study breaks down the risk of male and female service members being sexually assaulted if they are assigned to certain bases and ships, but the data is old and does not explain why some bases pose a higher risk of sexual assault than others, raising questions about how reliable the information in the report really is.