By Joel Warner
By Michael Roberts
By Alan Prendergast
By Michael Roberts
By Michael Roberts
By Amber Taufen
By Patricia Calhoun
By William Breathes
part 2 of 2
One of the so-called "good deal" trips took Guard members to Europe, where they had taken Air Force Academy cadets for training in over-water navigation. During a stop in Berlin, says Dewett, he, Colonel Rosson and several other officers and enlisted men attended a live-sex show at a local nightclub. According to Pohanic, the show's highlight came when two couples engaged in oral sex inside a giant clam shell. Rosson did not respond to requests for comment.
Assignments on the coveted good deal trips generally were staffed by handpicked crew members, says plaintiff Schaiterer, as opposed to those who needed the flight time to keep current with Guard regulations. Technical Sergeant Terri Bruch was aboard in December 1991 when the 200th picked up members of the U.S. Army War College (which teaches war strategy to senior military officers) at its base in Pennsylvania and took them on a seventeen-day trip to confer with military experts all over South America.
The crew had at least one and a half days of downtime at each stop to see the sights. In Rio, claims Sergeant Dewett, crew members stayed at the five-star Caesar's Park Hotel, which sits on Ipanema beach. Ocean-view rooms at the hotel come complete with mini-bars and average about $280 for a double. "Right around the corner," says Dewett, "was a hotel where the embassy guards and other people were staying for $50 a night."
Bruch, says Ruttenberg, made the reservations at Caesar's Park at the instruction of her supervisor. Guard members are reimbursed for their hotel expenses. Their expense vouchers would have to have been approved by the commander and signed by the finance office, Ruttenberg says. Guard spokesman Schultz denied Westword's request to examine the expense reports.
During another trip, when another group of Army War College members stayed in Panama, the Guard crew got another perquisite, Bruch and Dewett say. "They didn't have billeting in Panama," says Dewett, "so we jumped on our airplane and went to Grand Cayman. Then we came back and picked up the War College.
"It's Club Med when you're in the know out there," he adds. "You couldn't wish for a better place to work. If the light's shining on you, if you're one of their fair-haired boys or girls, everything is handed to you."
But, says Bruch, there was a price for the fun: constant lewd remarks and requests for sex. "Once the plane lands," she says, "the officers forget they're officers, and they figure that the IPSs are there at their beck and call. It's a crew concept. The crew has to stay together. There's a saying, `Those who fly together, sleep together.'"
At times, Bruch says, she felt pressured to have sex with supervisors because they held the reins to her job. She claims to have had affairs with two senior officers, neither of whom responded to Westword's requests for comment. Bruch later filed a sexual harassment charge against one of the men, only to withdraw it later because "I was worried for my job."
Haluska says she also engaged in fraternization, specifically a long-term affair with an officer. That man also did not respond to questions from Westword.
According to the complaint, in 1989, about four years after the affair was over, Haluska heard that her former boyfriend had become involved with another woman at the base. "Others had complained that he was rubbing up against her in the office," Haluska says. "I asked [the woman] to keep her actions out of the workplace." The woman responded, Haluska says, by telling her to mind her own business. So Haluska took her complaints to a supervisor.
"He said I disrupted the workplace," Haluska says. "I only spoke to her in the hallway, and she was lower ranking than I was, so I didn't feel I was out of line. But I was told by [Lieutenant Colonel Terry Thompson] to apologize, or else a reprimand would be placed in my personnel folder." Haluska wrote letters of apology to the woman and to the woman's co-workers.
Jesus Quinonez enlisted in the Guard in 1980. He first worked as a crew chief, turning aircraft around on the tarmac, fueling them, checking the hydraulics and performing minor maintenance. "I wanted eventually to fly," he says, "and the Guard program offered tuition assistance to get through school." Two years after joining the Guard, he began flight training.
By 1984 Quinonez was working for the Guard as a part-time pilot, flying A-7s. After the Guard added the new 737s to its fleet, Quinonez saw it as an opportunity to get some "heavy flying time" and gain experience that would enable him to become a commercial airline pilot. He went full-time with the Guard in 1986, committing to a two-year stint. (He now flies for Northwest Airlines and works for the Guard part-time.)
Quinonez had a long-standing problem with Jeffrey Schjodt, partly, he says, because he'd heard rumors that Schjodt once had referred to him as a "nigger." (Schjodt did not respond to Westword's requests for comment.) The two avoided working the same flights, says Quinonez, and tried to avoid each other in the office.