NEWS | Jan. 22, 2013

Air Force Health and Welfare Inspection results released

By Capt. Frank Hartnett

Senior Air Force leadership released the results of a service-wide health and welfare inspection conducted last fall at Air Force facilities around the world, including Joint Base Charleston.

The inspection provided leaders the opportunity to ensure standards and professionalism were reflected in the workspaces throughout the Air Force. Health and welfare checks are a routine method for leaders to provide oversight and guidance to Airmen. Commanders looked for and removed three broad categories of material: pornographic, inappropriate or offensive, or unprofessional.

In total, nearly 200 installations performed the review and 20,463 items were reported. Of those, there were 527 instances of pornography (magazines, calendars, pictures, videos that intentionally displayed nudity or depicted acts of sexual activity); 796 instances of unprofessional material (discrimination, professional appearance, items specific to local military history such as patches, coins, heritage rooms, log books, song books, etc.); and 19,140 instances of inappropriate or offensive items (suggestive items, magazines, posters, pictures, calendars, vulgarity, graffiti).

The inspection took place in all Air Force government workspaces and shared common areas such as briefing and break rooms. Inspections did not include private property such as purses, backpacks, individual desk drawers or personal computers.

Locally, the inspection conducted by all three Air Force wings resulted in the discovery of some inappropriate reading materials or games in the workspace, and in one instance a shared computer file which contained pornographic images. Corrective measures were immediately taken and items were either removed or destroyed.

"Our mission success is based on the fundamental principal of mutual respect and professionalism for one another," said Col. Richard McComb, Joint Base Charleston commander. "As our inspection shows, the majority of Airmen conduct themselves honorably. This was an opportunity to correct past mistakes and move forward with a new focus on professionalism."

The inspections are one in a series of moves the Air Force has undertaken to combat sexual assault. The Air Force conducted bystander intervention training service-wide, examined supplementary training for commanders and made multiple avenues of support available to every victim of sexual assault. Support services include counseling, medical, mental health, and safety services and victim's advocate among other things. Also of note, the Air Force has launched a pilot program designed to provide legal assistance to victims of sexual assault will begin later this month. Starting on Jan. 28, The Special Victims' Counsel Program will give sexual assault victims legal assistance and help them navigate the criminal justice system with lawyers trained to handle their unique needs.

Results of the health and welfare inspections are available at the Air Force FOIA Reading Room, at http://www.foia.af.mil/reading/.

*This story was localized with JB Charleston specific material using the original article on www.af.mil.