17 June 2011

Secretary of Air Force Decides Against Informing Dioxin-Exposed Aircrews

In the recent dismissal of our SAF/IG complaint, the IG recommended we turn to the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Air Force Historical Center regarding my formally filed allegations regarding... 
-questionable conduct by JAG officers
-questionable decisions by general officers, the Air Force Medical Service and the Air Force Material Command.

So I believe I have been told to resolve the issues of:
-Air Force force management
-Air Force JAG ethics
-Air Force weapon system contamination
-Air Force general officer actions
-Air Force aircrews
-Air Force Medical Corps officer actions-
-Air Force MAJCOM command oversight and
-Air Force treatment of retired members
...by trying to talk the VA into doing something. Get real.

Further, when I asked SAF/IG for help notifying aircrews who'd been exposed to dioxin flying the C-123K/UC-123K between 1972-1982 so the crews and maintainers could take whatever measures deemed appropriate regarding their own health and that of their families, the Secretary's office responded:

"Maj Carter,
Unfortunately we do not have the ability to identify or notify the individuals in the categories you mention.

Vincent G. DeBono, Jr., DAFC
Chief, Case Management Division
Office of the Secretary of the Air Force
Office of the Inspector General
Complaints and Resolution Directorate
DSN: 425-1555
COMM:  (703) 588-1555

-----Original Message-----
From: Rustysilverwings [mailto:rustysilverwings@aol.com] 
Sent: Wednesday, June 15, 2011 3:20 PM
To: Debono, Vincent G CIV USAF SAF/IGQ
Subject: Re: Air Force Aircrews--Response from National Institutes of Health re: 
Agent Orange exposure

Dear Mr. Debono, 

Thank you for your email today letting me know the results of my complaint to 
the SAF/IG. I take it from your response closing the complaint that the 
conclusion on each of the allegations is that they are either unfounded, not 
issues of law or instruction, or are the responsibility of other agencies.

I do remain concerned about the JAG memo recommending information about dioxin 
contamination be "kept within official channels" and the question about whether 
purchasers of the contaminated aircraft, both domestic and foreign governments, 
have or have not been notified of their toxicity. If these are issues best addressed by addressing them to the Department of Veterans Affairs as you suggest, I'll 
certainly do that. If the Department of Veterans Affairs is responsible for the 
action of Air Force officers in their decision (or failure) to notify aircrews 
of exposure to toxic chemicals. I shall ask them why that was not done as the 
various Air Force reports about the contamination began surfacing.

Thank you for your thorough investigation of these issues which were so 
important to me and to the men and women I flew with for ten years. At least, is there any action the SAF can take to help notify aircrews from the time period involved as to their exposure to dioxin? I'm greatly worried the VA will not be particularly interested in pursuing the idea.


Wesley T. Carter, Major, USAF Retired

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