Mountain View Voice

News - May 7, 2010

Case ends against airmen accused of theft

by Daniel DeBolt

It may have taken three years, but the Air National Guard has concluded a 2007 criminal investigation into whether some locally-stationed airmen stole government resources during a deployment in Afghanistan.

There was not enough evidence for criminal conviction of the unnamed airmen, according to a recent e-mail from Pete Sobrino, interim public affairs officer for the 129th Air Rescue Wing at Moffett Field. But "129th Rescue Wing leadership has taken appropriate action against the Airmen involved" the email states.

The Voice had last contacted the Air National Guard about the investigation in 2008 and the e-mail update was unsolicited. But the Air National Guard and the 129th Rescue Wing did not respond to phone calls for additional details.

The Mercury News reported in 2007 that "the investigation centers around senior officers and involves missing funds as well as equipment that cannot be accounted for," citing an anonymous source. The theft could have been anything from a few hundred dollars to a piece of heavy equipment, such as a Humvee or airplane.

Approximately 90 members of the 129th Rescue Wing rotated through Afghanistan between April and September of 2007, with about 70 of them in the country at any one time. The unit has a total of about 900 members.

The 129th is also regularly deployed by helicopter for search and rescue missions in natural disasters and emergencies, such as shipwrecks in the Pacific Ocean or the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake that rocked the Bay Area.

E-mail Daniel DeBolt at ddebolt@mv-voice.com

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