WASHINGTON, Jan. 23 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. Air Force's top commander told lawmakers on Wednesday that the sexual misconduct scandal at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas was " stunning," and vowed to eliminate such "horrible crime" from the service.
The U.S. Air Force chief of staff, General Mark Welsh, while testifying at the U.S. House Armed Services Committee's first hearing over the scandal, conceded that the magnitude of the sexual misconduct at the air base was "stunning to most of us in the Air Force."
"There's no justifiable explanation, and there is no way we can allow this to happen again," said Welsh, who briefed the lawmakers about the Air Force's recently-completed internal investigation.
The scandal involves 59 victims as well as 32 training instructors who have been disciplined or are now under investigation, out of a total of 855 personnel assigned as military training instructors during a three-year period at the base.
"The impact on every victim, their family, their friends and the other people in their unit is heart-wrenching, and attacking this cancer is a full-time job, and we are giving it our full attention," said Welsh.
The nine-month investigation into the sexual misconduct at the Texas base also led to a comprehensive program of the U.S. Air Force aimed to eliminate sexual assault.