By Gopal Ratnam
The head of an Army unit operating the primary U.S. missile-defense system has been suspended after an investigation into allegations that he overlooked sexual affairs and promoted a pinup calendar featuring scantily clad female soldiers.
Army Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Miley was suspended yesterday by Lieutenant General Richard Formica, commander of the Army’s Space and Missile Defense Command, according to John Cummings, a spokesman for the Huntsville, Alabama-based command.
Miley is commander of the 49th Missile Defense Battalion at Fort Greely, a remote base in Alaska. The Space and Missile Defense Command received two sets of allegations involving misconduct at the battalion — the first in August and the second in January — before it opened a joint inquiry with the Alaska National Guard, Marco Morales, a spokesman for the command, said in an e-mail last month.
The allegations surfaced amid an uproar over a surge in sexual-assault allegations in the military that President Barack Obama has described as “shameful and disgraceful.” Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told graduates at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point last month that they must build a “culture of respect” to stop “these debilitating, insidious and destructive forces.”