Cornyn Statement on Lackland Air Force Base and the Nomination of Gen. Mark Welsh
WASHINGTON – Today U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX), a member of the Armed Services Committee, made the following statement after meeting with Gen. Mark Welsh and subsequently lifting his hold on his nomination to be Air Force Chief of Staff:
“After today it’s clear Gen. Welsh shares my grave concerns over the situation at Lackland, and I was pleased to hear his commitment to following the investigation, wherever it may lead.
“Gen. Welsh demonstrated a genuine resolve to improving Air Force-wide policies to prevent a recurrence of the grossly unacceptable conduct that took place at Lackland.”
In today’s meeting, Sen. Cornyn asked Gen. Welsh to direct the Air Force to conduct a formal review of three things:
· Current Air Force policy and training on sexual assault prevention;
· Fraternization and inappropriate relationships, including social networking between Airmen;
· The organizational structure of Basic Military Training (BMT) units at Lackland AFB – focusing on the ratio of officers to trainees there.
Sen. Cornyn also asked Gen. Welsh for regular updates on the progress of this review, and any changes that are implemented as a result. Finally he asked Gen. Welsh for a commitment to improve the Air Force’s transparency and communications with Congress in conjunction with major budgeting and force structure decisions. Gen. Welsh agreed to conduct a review and to keep Sen. Cornyn informed.
Senator Cornyn serves on the Finance, Judiciary, Armed Services and Budget Committees. He serves as the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee’s Immigration, Refugees and Border Security subcommittee. He served previously as Texas Attorney General, Texas Supreme Court Justice, and Bexar County District Judge.