Connect with us
[adrotate group="1"]

Military News

Florida towing company the latest accused of illegally auctioning off troops’ cars, Justice says

Justice Department officials have reached an agreement with a Florida towing company over allegations the company illegally sold or scrapped service members’ vehicles, in violation of federal law. ASAP Towing & Storage Company in Jacksonville, Fla., is accused of violating the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act by auctioning off or disposing at least 33 vehicles belonging…

Published

on

Florida towing company the latest accused of illegally auctioning off troops’ cars, Justice says

Justice Department officials have reached an agreement with a Florida towing company over allegations the company illegally sold or scrapped service members’ vehicles, in violation of federal law. ASAP Towing & Storage Company in Jacksonville, Fla., is accused of violating the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act by auctioning off or disposing at least 33 vehicles belonging to service members between 2013 and 2020, without first obtaining a court order, according to the lawsuit filed in federal court in Jacksonville on Sept. 10. Under the proposed agreement, ASAP will pay up to a combined total of $99,500 to compensate service members whose vehicles were auctioned off while they were in military service, as well as a $20,000 civil penalty to the U.S. Treasury. ASAP must also adopt new procedures for determining an individual’s military status before auctioning a vehicle. The company must also obtain a court order or a valid SCRA waiver, before auctioning a service member’s vehicle, according to the proposed settlement agreement, also filed in court Sept. 10. The agreement is subject to court approval. ASAP neither admits nor denies the allegations in the lawsuit, according to the proposed settlement agreement, also filed in court Sept. 10. Jacksonville, Fla. has the third largest military population in the U.S. This is the fourth lawsuit filed by Justice attorneys in three weeks regarding allegations of violating troops’ rights under the SCRA by selling off vehicles or other property. The SCRA prohibits auctioning off or otherwise disposing of vehicles owned by service members without first obtaining a court order. This allows a judge to consider the factors involved, and possibly delay the sale or disposal, or adjust the amount of money the service member owes to the towing company. According to the court documents, Lt. j.g. Zane Robert Berry informed property managers at his apartment complex that he would be deploying aboard the submarine Florida, and that his 2005 PT Cruiser would be parked in front of his apartment during that time, from late February to early September, 2018. The car had a parking decal from a South Carolina Navy base, and there was a welcome aboard packet from the submarine left on the passenger’s seat. He left his driver’s license in the glove compartment. At the request of the apartment complex’s property manager, ASAP Towing & Storage towed Berry’s car on April 2, 2018, because it had a flat tire. ASAP auctioned off Berry’s car on June 29, 2018, along with contents that included several tools and some music compact discs that were created by Berry’s deceased stepfather and “held great sentimental value for Lt. Berry,” according to the court documents. Sign up for the Pay and Benefits Report Stay up-to-date on changing military benefits and pay (please select a country)United StatesUnited KingdomAfghanistanAlbaniaAlgeriaAmerican SamoaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBoliviaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of TheCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’ivoireCroatiaCubaCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuamGuatemalaGuineaGuinea-bissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMarshall IslandsMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMicronesia, Federated States ofMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNetherlands AntillesNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorthern Mariana IslandsNorwayOmanPakistanPalauPalestinian Territory, OccupiedPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalPuerto RicoQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRwandaSaint HelenaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and The GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbia and MontenegroSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and The South Sandwich IslandsSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwan, Province of ChinaTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-lesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUnited States Minor Outlying IslandsUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuelaViet NamVirgin Islands, BritishVirgin Islands, U.S.Wallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabwe Subscribe × By giving us your email, you are opting in to the Early Bird Brief. The company didn’t get a court order before the auction, and didn’t have a company policy requiring them to do that in the case of military members, the documents allege. However, the company’s written policies and procedures required employees to look for any military decals on vehicles that arrived at their impound, and to do a visual inspection of the interior to look for any signs of military ownership. But according to the complaint, ASAP’s policies didn’t include checking the free automated database run by Defense Manpower Data Center, to determine if an individual was in the military. If they had run a check based on Berry’s driver’s license in the glove compartment, they would have found that he was in the military, according to the complaint. “The Justice Department must protect [Berry’s] rights just as he is protecting ours,” said Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband of the Civil Rights Division, in a statement announcing the proposed agreement. “We appreciate that the company has worked cooperatively with us to reach a settlement that will compensate all of the service members whose vehicles were taken from them.” Vince Serrano, president of ASAP Towing & Storage, said he provided documentation to DOJ investigators to show that ASAP has gone to great lengths over the years to find owners, and to protect military members’ vehicles from being sold. “I do what is right, but being human, we did make some mistakes,” Serrano said, in an interview Sept. 11. “When you consider the quantity of vehicles we process, I feel we did a good job, but I look to do a fantastic job in the future to try and eliminate any errors of this kind.” The company’s towing services are widely used, and their trucks are sometimes called to installations to remove cars that have been abandoned, said Serrano, an Army veteran. They’ve traditionally held cars when they have indications they are owned by military, and they try to find the owners, but many have long been abandoned. He said he has a list of 60 vehicles they’re currently holding from auction because they believe they’re owned by military members. Some have been there as long as three years, including a 2000 Jaguar that’s been there since January, 2017. Now that they know about the DMDC database, they’ve been using that to determine if the car is owned by a service member, he said, but they’ve found some problems in their searches. A decade ago when service members’ cars had installation decals on them, it was much easier, he said. Now they often don’t have easy access to owner information, he said, unless the car is registered in Florida, where running a check of the vehicle identification number, will bring up the driver’s license of the owner. “The only way this will be fixed properly is to have military personnel register their vehicles and be identified as active military. We don’t have access to Social Security numbers, nor do we have access to driver’s licenses from every state. The name, if spelled differently, will not pull up a positive hit on the website that we search for military status.” Maria Chapa Lopez, U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Florida, said she was pleased that an agreement has been reached with ASAP. “When service members are deployed, and in harm’s way, fighting for our country, they should be able to find their personal vehicles where they left them when they return home,” she said, in a statement announcing the agreement.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

code

Military News

How the president could invoke martial law

Throughout 2020, America has faced a global pandemic, civil unrest after the death of George Floyd and a contentious election. As a result, an influx of fear about the possibility of the invocation of martial law or unchecked military intervention is circulating around the internet among scholars and civilians alike. “The fear is certainly understandable,…

Published

on

By

How the president could invoke martial law

Throughout 2020, America has faced a global pandemic, civil unrest after the death of George Floyd and a contentious election. As a result, an influx of fear about the possibility of the invocation of martial law or unchecked military intervention is circulating around the internet among scholars and civilians alike. “The fear is certainly understandable, because as I’m sure you know, martial law isn’t described or confined or limited, proscribed in any way by the Constitution or laws,” Bill Banks, a Syracuse professor with an expertise in constitutional and national security law, told Military Times. “If someone has declared martial law, they’re essentially saying that they are the law.” What is ‘martial law’ In short, martial law can be imposed when civil rule fails, temporarily being replaced with military authority in a time of crisis. Though rare, there have been a number of notable U.S. cases where martial law came into play, including in times of war, natural disaster and civic dispute — of which there has been no shortage in 2020. While no precise definition of martial law exists, a precedent for it exists wherein, “certain civil liberties may be suspended, such as the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures, freedom of association, and freedom of movement. And the writ of habeas corpus [the right to a trial before imprisonment] may be suspended,” according to documents from JRANK, an online legal encyclopedia. Martial law may be declared by both the president and by Congress. State officials may also declare martial law, according to the Brennan Center for Justice, however, “their actions under the declaration must abide by the U.S. Constitution and are subject to review in federal court.” “Notorious examples include Franklin D. Roosevelt’s internment of U.S. citizens and residents of Japanese descent during World War II and George W. Bush’s programs of warrantless wiretapping and torture after the 9/11 terrorist attacks,” the Atlantic reported. “Abraham Lincoln conceded that his unilateral suspension of habeas corpus during the Civil War was constitutionally questionable, but defended it as necessary to preserve the Union.” Throughout the course of U.S. history, federal and state officials have declared martial law at least 68 times, according to Joseph Nunn, an expert with the Brennan Center for Justice. Sign up for the Early Bird Brief Get the military’s most comprehensive news and information every morning (please select a country)United StatesUnited KingdomAfghanistanAlbaniaAlgeriaAmerican SamoaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBoliviaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of TheCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’ivoireCroatiaCubaCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuamGuatemalaGuineaGuinea-bissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMarshall IslandsMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMicronesia, Federated States ofMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNetherlands AntillesNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorthern Mariana IslandsNorwayOmanPakistanPalauPalestinian Territory, OccupiedPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalPuerto RicoQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRwandaSaint HelenaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and The GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbia and MontenegroSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and The South Sandwich IslandsSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwan, Province of ChinaTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-lesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUnited States Minor Outlying IslandsUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuelaViet NamVirgin Islands, BritishVirgin Islands, U.S.Wallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabwe Subscribe × By giving us your email, you are opting in to the Early Bird Brief. How does it work? Martial law does have limits. The Posse Comitatus Act, passed on June 18, 1878, prevented federal troops from supervising Confederate state elections during Reconstruction. Though initially it only applied to the Army, it has been amended to include the Defense Department and, of course, the other service branches. That act prevents troops from enforcing domestic law, preventing such actions as searching and seizing property or dispersing crowds. However, National Guard units, which take their direction from state governors, are exempt from the Posse Comitatus Act. One exception to Posse Comitatus, however, is the Insurrection Act, which allows the use of active-duty or National Guard troops for federal law enforcement in cases when “rebellion against the authority of the U.S. makes it impracticable to enforce the laws of the U.S. by the ordinary course of judicial proceedings,” according to U.S. Northern Command. The text of the Act reads: “Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That in all cases of insurrection, or obstruction to the laws, either of the United States, or of any individual state or territory, where it is lawful for the President of the United States to call forth the militia for the purpose of suppressing such insurrection, or of causing the laws to be duly executed, it shall be lawful for him to employ, for the same purposes, such part of the land or naval force of the United States, as shall be judged necessary, having first observed all the pre-requisites of the law in that respect.” But activating the National Guard even under federal Title 32 status, in which the federal government helps pay for Guard troops under state control, does not fall under the Insurrection Act, nor does it equate to martial law in ordinary circumstances. “Governors call the National Guard all the time to respond to a storms or power outages, delivering medical supplies, stuff going on even during COVID,” Banks said. “That’s not extraordinary, nor would it be if the President federalized the National Guard for similar reasons, responding to a need to disseminate vaccines next winter, for example, would be perfectly appropriate, lawful, not martial law.” Should we be worried? “The sort of hellish scenarios that some people talk about is one where the president orders or regular military armed forces the United States to take over cities that he believes are engaged in an unlawful election, disruption or protests in the wake of an unresolved presidential election in the days after November 3,” Banks noted. Though purely a hypothetical, Banks notes that the way it would happen would be through the Insurrection Act. In order to invoke the Insurrection Act, the president “must first issue a proclamation ordering the insurgents to disperse within a limited time, 10 U.S.C. § 334.4. If the situation does not resolve itself, the President may issue an executive order to send in troops,” according to a 2006 Congressional Research Service report. “One of the important things to remember about the Insurrection Act is that it’s not martial law,” Banks said. “The purpose of utilizing the mechanisms of insurrection act is to enforce the law, not replace it.” In June, at the height of the protests surrounding the death of a Black man named George Floyd at the hands of a white Minnesota police officer, President Donald Trump alluded to the Insurrection Act as a means of calling up active duty troops to quell civil unrest as protest erupted across the country. “If a city or state refuses to take the actions that are necessary to defend the life and property of their residents, then I will deploy the United States military and quickly solve the problem for them,” Trump said in a White House statement on June 1 — just before he posed for a photo opportunity outside Washington, D.C.’s St. John’s Church with a bible amid an entourage, which included Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley. Milley publicly apologized for his appearance in Trump’s walk across Lafayette Square to pose for photos in front of a church partially burned during protests. “My presence in that moment and in that environment created a perception of the military involved in domestic politics,” Milley said. “As a commissioned uniformed officer, it was a mistake that I have learned from, and I sincerely hope we all can learn from it.” But while the Insurrection Act is law, the fact that martial law is not codified lands its use in a distinctly grey legal area. “One of the problems, of course, is that there’s nothing to prevent the president or a military commander from declaring martial law,” Banks noted. “They can just do it. It’s not sanctioned by law.” Banks noted that the civilian in charge of the military — in this case, Defense Secretary Mark Esper — is the key to ensuring the military is kept out of the 2020 elections. “Secretary Esper is in a in a really critical role here,” Banks noted. Esper addressed this in a memo to the force. “As citizens, we exercise our right to vote and participate in government,” he wrote. “However, as public servants who have taken an oath to defend these principles, we uphold DoD’s longstanding tradition of remaining apolitical as we carry out our official responsibilities.” Milley too feels strongly about the necessity of keeping the U.S. military out of politics and the election. “We don’t swear an oath of allegiance to an individual, a king, a queen, a president or anything else,” he said in an interview with NPR. “We don’t swear an oath of allegiance to a country, for that matter. We don’t swear an oath of allegiance to a flag, a tribe, a religion or any of that. We swear an oath to an idea, or a set of ideas and values, that are embedded in our Constitution.” As a result of these comments, Banks is optimistic that the worst case election scenario in the event of disputed election results might just be lawsuits in certain states where the outcomes are murky. “A really important limitation in the event that there is martial law is that it’s highly unlikely to be tolerated in a situation where our civilian institutions are working,” Banks noted. “Martial law requires a complete meltdown. It requires the inability of our civilian institutions to manage government. It’s hard to imagine that.”

Continue Reading

Military News

The Bones are back: B-1s return to Guam

Four B-1B Lancer bombers and 200 airmen from Dyess Air Force Base in Texas arrived at Andersen Air Force Base in Guam Tuesday for a bomber task force mission, Pacific Air Forces said in a release. The bombers and airmen, with Dyess’ 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, were sent to Guam to support PACAF’s training missions…

Published

on

By

The Bones are back: B-1s return to Guam

Four B-1B Lancer bombers and 200 airmen from Dyess Air Force Base in Texas arrived at Andersen Air Force Base in Guam Tuesday for a bomber task force mission, Pacific Air Forces said in a release. The bombers and airmen, with Dyess’ 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, were sent to Guam to support PACAF’s training missions with allies, partner forces and joint forces such as the U.S. Navy. This represents the latest in a string of near-monthly B-1 bomber task force rotations to Guam since the Air Force ended the continuous bomber presence in April. “Every bomber task force is important because they accomplish both tactical and strategic objectives,” said Lt. Col. Ryan Stallsworth, the squadron’s commander. “As we conduct training operations, we are able to increase our bomber force lethality, readiness and experience across the force. It also demonstrates the Department of Defense’s ability to operate in an agile fashion to the world.” On their way to Guam, the bombers trained with the amphibious assault ship America, which is now deployed to the western Pacific Ocean, PACAF said in Thursday’s release. The bombers also linked up with 16 F-15s and two F-2s from the Japanese Self-Defense Force, also called the Koku-Jieitai, near the Sea of Japan. “The training proved to be a very good opportunity to improve tactical skills as well as to show our commitment to the robust Japan-U.S. alliance and the region,” said Lt. Col. Kobayashi Yoshiyuki, commander of the Koku-Jieitai’s 305th Fighter Squadron, in the release. “Through continued bilateral trainings between the Koku-Jieitai and the U.S. Air Force, we are tough and strong, and always ready.” Sign up for the Air Force Times Daily News Roundup Don’t miss the top Air Force stories, delivered each afternoon (please select a country)United StatesUnited KingdomAfghanistanAlbaniaAlgeriaAmerican SamoaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBoliviaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of TheCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’ivoireCroatiaCubaCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuamGuatemalaGuineaGuinea-bissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMarshall IslandsMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMicronesia, Federated States ofMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNetherlands AntillesNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorthern Mariana IslandsNorwayOmanPakistanPalauPalestinian Territory, OccupiedPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalPuerto RicoQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRwandaSaint HelenaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and The GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbia and MontenegroSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and The South Sandwich IslandsSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwan, Province of ChinaTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-lesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUnited States Minor Outlying IslandsUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuelaViet NamVirgin Islands, BritishVirgin Islands, U.S.Wallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabwe Subscribe × By giving us your email, you are opting in to the Air Force Times Daily News Roundup. Two B-1B Lancer aircraft sit on a runway during a Bomber Task Force deployment at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, Oct. 21. (Pacific Air Forces) After the 16-year Continuous Bomber Presence mission at Anderson and its regular rotations of strategic bombers in and out of Guam ended in April, the Air Force began a series of bomber task force missions, often involving B-1s. Less than a month later, four B-1s from Dyess returned to Guam on May 1 for a temporary rotation. A pair of B-1s from Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota followed in July, and more B-1 bomber task forces followed in August and September.

Continue Reading

Military News

Judge permits former Army colonel’s sex assault case against Joint Chiefs No. 2

LOS ANGELES — A federal judge on Thursday refused to dismiss a lawsuit alleging the vice chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff sexually assaulted a former top aide during a Southern California trip. Air Force Gen. John Hyten has denied the allegations brought by former Army Col. Kathryn Spletstoser that he attacked her…

Published

on

By

Judge permits former Army colonel’s sex assault case against Joint Chiefs No. 2

LOS ANGELES — A federal judge on Thursday refused to dismiss a lawsuit alleging the vice chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff sexually assaulted a former top aide during a Southern California trip. Air Force Gen. John Hyten has denied the allegations brought by former Army Col. Kathryn Spletstoser that he attacked her during a December 2017 trip to attend the Reagan National Defense Forum at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, northwest of Los Angeles. At the time, Hyten commanded the United States Strategic Command, known at STRATCOM. The Associated Press generally does not identify victims of alleged sexual assault. But Spletstoser has allowed her name to be used. Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald in Los Angeles rejected defense motions to dismiss the case for lack of jurisdiction or to move the case to Nebraska, where STRATCOM is based. A phone call and email seeking comment from Hyten or his lawyers were not immediately returned. However Hyten, who was confirmed last September as the nation’s second highest-ranking military officer, flatly denied Spletstoser’s claims during his confirmation hearing. Sign up for the Early Bird Brief Get the military’s most comprehensive news and information every morning (please select a country)United StatesUnited KingdomAfghanistanAlbaniaAlgeriaAmerican SamoaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBoliviaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of TheCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’ivoireCroatiaCubaCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuamGuatemalaGuineaGuinea-bissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMarshall IslandsMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMicronesia, Federated States ofMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNetherlands AntillesNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorthern Mariana IslandsNorwayOmanPakistanPalauPalestinian Territory, OccupiedPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalPuerto RicoQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRwandaSaint HelenaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and The GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbia and MontenegroSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and The South Sandwich IslandsSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwan, Province of ChinaTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-lesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUnited States Minor Outlying IslandsUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuelaViet NamVirgin Islands, BritishVirgin Islands, U.S.Wallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabwe Subscribe × By giving us your email, you are opting in to the Early Bird Brief. The case against Gen. John Hyten Gen. John Hyten, nominated to become vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (VCJCS), sexually assaulted me multiple times between January and December, 2017. Spletstoser served in the Army for 28 years and carried out four combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. Her assault and sexual battery lawsuit alleged that while staying at a hotel during the Simi Valley trip, Hyten grabbed her, kissed her, fondled her buttocks and rubbed himself against her. The lawsuit was amended from an original complaint that alleged Hyten sexually assaulted her at least nine times in 2017, including during trips to California, London, South Korea and elsewhere and that he retaliated against for refusing his advances by harming her career and eventually forcing her retirement. Spletstoser reported the allegations after Hyten’s nomination. She told the AP last year that she decided she couldn’t live with the idea that Hyten might assault someone else if he was confirmed for the job. The Air Force investigated the woman’s allegations and found there was insufficient evidence to charge the general or recommend any administrative punishment.

Continue Reading
error: Content is protected !!