Almost half of the members of a National Guard team in Tennessee have been investigated for reportedly having sex with prostitutes while on a humanitarian mission in an area of Africa known for prolific human trafficking.
The military investigation also looked into allegations that the men let prostitutes enter rooms full of secret documents and weapons, WSMVreports.
Members of the 775th Engineering Department were supposed to be digging water wells at Camp Lemmonier in Djibouti and Dire Dawa in Ethiopia. The idea of deployments of this kind is to counter extremism.
Both of these regions are notorious for human trafficking, a fact brought up repeatedly by a captain in July 2013 when training the unit for the mission.
“Women end up stranded in Dire Dawa while trying to make it over to the Middle East … I told them not to engage in using prostitutes and that part of the mission is a positive projection of America,” said the captain, according to documents from the military criminal investigation.
But both before and after the training, military investigators determined probable cause that 9 members—out of 19 total—had sex with prostitutes.
The investigation turned up a host of disturbing findings.
First, one of the sergeants abruptly spit out that some of the prostitutes were younger than his daughter. The document blacked out the age of his daughter.
Second, a lieutenant commented that there were ring-leaders in control of the operation, who counseled soldiers exactly what to say in order to stay out of trouble.
Third, the men were cavalier and bragged about all the sex. A medic reportedly handed out condoms for encounters.
Fourth, some of the women were brought to a sergeant’s room, where secret documents were stored and another room full of weapons. Apparently, no information was compromised.
But it all came to an end when one sergeant reported the activities to a lieutenant, who then in turn passed on the information to a non-commissioned officer.
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