Welsh Nomination on Hold

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.) placed a hold on the nomination of Gen. Mark Welsh to be the next Air Force Chief of Staff, citing his concerns over the incidents of sexual misconduct by Air Force military training instructors at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland in his state. “My hold on General Welsh will remain until I feel the Air Force is adequately addressing the unacceptable situation at Lackland and taking corrective steps to reform their training program to prevent this from happening again,” said Cornyn on July 27. Already the Air Force has found two former MTIs guilty of sexual misconduct, one of whom will spend 20 years in confinement. Just last week, the Air Force said the number of MTIs under investigation had risen by three to 15, and the number of alleged victims had grown by seven to 38, reported the Associated Press. The Air Force’s widespread efforts to stop sexual assaults in its ranks are “not working,” Welsh told the Senate Armed Services Committee during his July 19 confirmation hearing. “Everyone is trying to do the right thing and figure out some way of stopping this, but the fact is we haven’t even reversed the trend,” he acknowledged.