KINGS BAY, Ga. (June 28, 2014) The Ohio-class ballistic missle submarine USS Wyoming (SSBN 742) returns to Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay following routine operations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Rex Nelson/Released)
Up to a dozen sailors are suspected of filming, viewing secretly recorded taped or distributing videos of their female shipmates undressing in a submarine shower changing area over a period of 10 months, according to a new the investigative report obtained by Navy Times. The scandal has marred the Navy's gender integration effort begun four years ago.
While it appears only one sailor has been implicated in the videos' production and distribution, 11 are suspected of watching them and failing to report the matter to their commanders. Eleven sailors are suspected of viewing and not reporting the videos allegedly recordedAn incident report second command message on the investigation, obtained Thursday by Navy Times, expanded the suspect pool has widened been expanded from by an one male E-5 accused of filming his female shipmates aboard the ballistic-missile submarine Wyoming to a dozen male suspects of various ranks assigned to various commands, according to Navy officials and the latest incident report obtained by Navy Times and confirmed by Navy officials.
It's unclear precisely how many women were recorded. Navy officials believe it's either three or four. All are assigned to the ballistic-missile submarine Wyoming, which is based in Kings Bay, Georgia, and are among The three or four women recorded are some of the first female sailors ever to serve in the submarine force. on such vessels. in the Navy
Navy Times first exposed the scandal and the news of the half dozen or so videos became public Dec. 3, just one a day before the Pentagon released its annual report on sexual assault within the military release of the Defense Department's annual sexual assault report. The recent, unclassified incident report informed the chain of command, including top Navy leaders, that the Wyoming command investigation has wrapped up. believed to have been released by the Wyoming to the chain of command, including top Navy leaders. [[[NEED TO ADD HERE A FIRST REFERENCE TO OBTAINING THIS NEW REPORT, STATING WHAT IT IS, WHO RECEIVED IT AND WHEN IT WAS DATED//A.deG.]]] There are believed to be half a dozen videos, some of which were shared via social media. The incidents first became public Dec. 3, after a retired supply officer who had spoken to one of the victims reached out to Navy Times.
At least three women were filmed, the retired officer said. The investigation launched after a male officer on another submarine reported receiving a video of female submariners undressing.
According to the second incident report, 12 male sailors are suspected of recording, viewing the or distributing videos taken of the women from August to November 2013 and March to June 2014. The videos were first reported to the command of the Kings Bay, Georgia-based boomer Wyoming's command in mid-November.
Submarine Force Atlantic confirmed the second incident report, but a spokesman declined to elaborate about the command report's findings.
All of those implicated are petty officers, most of whom had seen or known about the undressing videos but did not report it, said a senior Navy official familiar with the investigation. The official, who emphasized that only one sailor, a second class petty officer, E-5 is believed to have recorded and distributed them using a taped them with a smart phone. and distributed it.
"This was not 11 guys, each with different" cameras, said the source. "It was really one guy doing the videography piece and then sharing it with other people."
"We think the 7 videos were shot with a cell phone," he added.
The Wyoming has completed its command investigation has finishedwrapped up and a separate probe by While Naval Criminal Investigative Service continues to investigate the potential legal violations in the filming and distribution, the SUBLANT spokesman said.Submarine Forces spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Tommy Crosby confirmed.
The report will be forwarded up the boat's chain of command for endorsement before any punishment or adjudication is handed down.
For example, there may be separate military consequences for bringing recording equipment onto a submarine or viewing the videos without reporting them.
The scandal is a major blight for a community that has touted an otherwise smooth effort to integrate women onto submarines, beginning four years ago with the first female supply and sub officers. Women first reported to the Wyoming in late 2011.
In a letter to submarine leadership, the fleet's top submariner SUBFOR's chief urged insisted that the filming doesn't take away from the community's integration successes, noting that So far, 59 female officers are assigned to three ballistic-missile submarines and four guided-missile submarines in Kings Bay and Bangor, Washington.
"The performance of these women and the crews to which they are assigned have been overwhelmingly successful," Vice Adm. Michael Connor said.
Female officers are due to join fast-attack submarines next year, with enlisted women joining crews in the following years.
A ballistic missile sub typically has 15 officers and 140 enlisted on board, with unisex showers in "officer country." When a woman is using the shower, for example, she puts up a sign to indicate the head is in use by a female officer and men must wait to enter until it's unoccupied.
It's possible that the cameras caught both men and women showering, but the final incident report only cites women as victims.