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 Air Force releases results of health and welfare inspection
ACC releases results of health and welfare inspection

Posted 1/18/2013   Updated 1/18/2013 Email story   Print story

    


by Staff
Air Combat Command Public Affairs


1/18/2013 - LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Va. -- Air Combat Command has released its results for the service-wide health and welfare inspections that were completed in an effort to emphasize an environment of respect, trust and professionalism in the workplace.

"Sexual harassment and sexual assault have no place in our Air Force, yet both continue to affect the Air Force's mission and harm our Airmen," said Gen. Mike Hostage, commander of Air Combat Command. "Any environment that encourages or tolerates holdovers from our past such as offensive pictures or songs is unacceptable. Our Airmen deserve a safe, professional work environment free from harassment."

The purpose of the inspection was to reinforce expectations for the workplace environment, correct deficiencies, and deter conditions that may be detrimental to good order and discipline.

Commanders looked for and removed items that hinder a professional working environment in three broad categories: offensive or inappropriate, unprofessional, or pornographic. The inspections took place in government workspaces and shared common areas such as briefing rooms and break rooms, as well as on shared computer drives.

ACC units reported 17,790 items found. More than 99 percent of the items reported in the inspection fell into the "inappropriate or offensive" or "unprofessional" categories. However, more than 6,700 of those items were labeled by inspectors as unprofessional or inappropriate not because they were potentially offensive but because they represented improper storage of personal photo, video, audio or text files on government computers.

Of the remaining items, the majority of items were potentially offensive pictures, posters, calendars, magazines or graffiti located in common areas, offices and latrines. Identified items were documented and either removed or destroyed. One potentially illegal image was found and referred to the appropriate agencies for investigation.

The results of the inspection for Air Combat Command encompass more than 500 organizations at 50 locations worldwide, including 134,972 people assigned to 22 wings and higher headquarters elements within the United States and 7,684 people assigned to seven expeditionary wings under U.S. Air Forces Central Command.

The health and welfare inspection is a tool routinely used by unit commanders, command chiefs, and first sergeants. In addition to inspection guidance issued by the Air Force, Hostage directed all Wing Commanders to address the issue directly with Airmen at all levels by conductng Commander's Calls. Health and welfare inspections have also been incorporated into ACC Inspector General inspections.

"The Air Force succeeds because of the professionalism and discipline of our Airmen," Gen. Mark A. Welsh, Air Force Chief of Staff said. "We have a significant number of Airmen who feel they have to 'go along to get along' by ignoring pornographic images, workplace comments, or other material that makes them uncomfortable. That's simply not the Air Force we want to be. EVERY Airman is critically important...and every one deserves to be treated with respect. Anything less reflects a lack of discipline and a failure to honor our values. It also marginalizes great Airmen, degrades mission effectiveness and hurts unit morale. We simply can't, and won't, tolerate it."

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. Counseling, medical, mental health, and safety services, a victim's advocate and both on and off-base providers are available.

Air Force-wide results are available at the Air Force FOIA Reading Room, at http://www.foia.af.mil/reading/.



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