The Army is investigating a sexual assault inside the airfield at Camp Buehring, Kuwait, on Aug. 31, according to an official reward poster obtained by Military Times and a statement from the Army’s Criminal Investigative Command confirming the investigation.
“I can confirm that CID is investigating an alleged sexual assault at Camp Buehring,” said Chris Grey, CID’s chief of public affairs, in an email to Military Times. “This is an open and ongoing criminal investigation.”
The victim of the assault is a female soldier, according to the poster. Military Times does not publish the names of victims of sexual assault who haven’t publicly addressed their case.
The assault occurred in the early afternoon in an airfield latrine building, according to the official CID poster offering a $7,500 reward for tips leading to a conviction. The suspect is described as a male soldier weighing between 180 and 210 pounds, 5 feet 10 inches tall with green eyes, dark brown hair and a medium complexion. He was wearing a mask at the time of the assault. The alleged perpetrator is still at large, according to Army officials.
“The attacker was able to get through the security gates,” said one Army official who was not authorized to discuss the assault in an official capacity. The units at the airfield have since improved the area’s physical security, the official explained. Combined Joint Task Force-Inherent Resolve, the command overseeing the fight against the Islamic State group, and aviation operations at Camp Buehring did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Military Times.
“The [unit] took the situation very seriously and did all they could to bring justice [for] the soldier,” said another Army official, who also was not authorized to comment in an official capacity.
The Army’s public acknowledgement of the assault comes amid a groundbreaking four-part investigation of military sexual assault by CBS News. The investigation publicized the story of Staff Sgt. Morgan Robinson, an Army National Guard soldier who died by suicide in 2018 following two alleged sexual assaults perpetrated by fellow soldiers: one in Kuwait, and one in Afghanistan that involved multiple soldiers.
Last week, Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy stated that the service’s Sexual Harassment/Assault Prevention Program “hasn’t achieved its mandate” despite decades of work. The Government Accountability Office announced a review of the program in August after Spc. Vanessa Guillen’s disappearance and death dominated national headlines for weeks. Investigators told Guillen’s family attorney that she was killed in her unit armory on Fort Hood this April by a fellow soldier who had previously sexually harassed her. Her remains were discovered on June 30, approximately 30 miles off-post.
CID is still looking for the perpetrator of the Aug. 31 assault.
“We encourage anyone with information, regardless of how inconsequential it may seem, to come forward,” said CID spokesperson Grey. “It may be the final piece of information we need to help bring the person responsible to justice.”