I had someone post this as a comment to a photo on my facebook wall and I wanted to share it here. It does a fairly good job explaining *some* of the problems that we feel made the rape trial of Captain Jason Wayne Boman of Whiteman Air Force Base a mockery. Still not silent. Still not going to be silenced. I feel that this story is important and I think that the military needs to be held accountable for putting a pilot asset above holding that same asset accountable for their horrid behavior.
At original manufacturing time, there were only 21 B2s in existence. Ever. There are fewer now due to accidents. There is only one base in the entire Air Force that has a permanent contingent of B2 aircraft. The only other places that it goes are for deployments or back to the depot for repair/refit periodically. Point being, if you are a B2 flier, there is only one place you can be unless you are on some kind of staff/command tour for career broadening and enrichment.
On Whiteman AFB there are only 2 flying squadrons. If you want to mince hairs there is also a test squadron and a training squadron, but for practical purposes lets just go with the fact that there are 2. Both squadrons are actually located in the same building as well, so the difference in unit designation is really just a chain of command thing and used for assignments and things like that. This does bring up another point however, as all B2 pilots are trained at Whiteman AFB. Unlike other air frames you don’t go to school somewhere else then get farmed out to one of any number of bases to fly around for your job. After initial pilot training, you come here. You train here. Then you work here. For the rest of your natural career, assuming that you don’t take another job for broadening. Even if you do leave, you always come back eventually. This is a primary factor that has lead to Whiteman’s unique…..culture.
Moving away from specifics to the air frame, he’s also a pilot. Pilots in general have a weird fraternal bond that extends beyond sense. They will back each other up and defend each other based purely on the fact that the other guy is a pilot. I’m sure you’ve noticed this behavior. Building on that, he’s also an AF Academy grad. Academy cadets in general ALSO have this Stepford-type bond. Perhaps you’ve noticed similar behavior in those who came through the Navy’s school. Finally, just to round out the trifecta, he played sports during his academy days. The college athlete bond also builds that same sort of bond. I’m not really sure that the last one was a factor here, but I am confident that it strengthened the other two.
The point being, placing two B2 pilots on the jury virtually guarantees that they knew each other well. If they were similar in age/career group/rank the likelihood becomes even higher. Two of those votes were cast the moment their flame retardant asses entered the room.