RAF Lakenheath Provides American Airmen The Chance To Fight Back Against The Abuse And Misuse Of The UCMJ

The special relationship between the United States and Great Britain has forged a seemingly unbreakable military partnership for the foreseeable future.
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It’s quite a remarkable feat considering that our two nations have fought each other in two wars and the British were less than kind when they attempted to burn down the White House in 1814. Nonetheless, all seems forgiven as men and women of the United States Air Force should expect regular placements at RAF Lakenheath for the foreseeable future. Unfortunately for Airmen stationed at RAF Lakenheath, commands placed on foreign soil often wield the UCMJ unnecessary malice so as to prevent any international embarrassment over U.S. service member’s behavior. The good news for service personnel stationed at RAF Lakenheath is that they have an option to fight back against this abuse and misuse of the UCMJ. If that’s what you’re facing right now, you’re going to want to stop what you are doing and finish this article to the very end.

U.S. Airmen With Conduct Problems Stationed In The U.K. Have A Long And Gallant History

 

Just about any Air Force personnel stationed at RAF Lakenheath would understand the phrase “Airman Snuffy” to mean the proverbial Air Force screw up. What most Air Force personnel are not aware of is that Airman Snuffy was a real person and more than just a screw up, he was a recipient of the Medal of Honor. Don’t get us wrong, Maynard “Snuffy” Smith was indeed a screw up. He enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps after a judge gave him the option of jail or military service for failing to pay child support.

Once in the service, he quickly gained the reputation as an obnoxious individual who didn’t get along with anyone. That’s how he picked up the nickname, “Snuffy.” When he arrived in Europe, no one wanted to fly with him and it would be six weeks before a crew finally relented. Remarkably, that reluctant decision would be one of the best decisions of their lives.

The mission was to bomb the U-boat pens at Saint-Nazaire which went off with little problems. However, on the way back, a navigational error by the lead pilot took the bombing group over the heavily fortified city of Brest. That’s when all hell broke loose. Smith’s bomber took a direct hit and fires began to erupt. Several of the crew were wounded and several bailed out to their demise.

Smith decided to stay and spend the next 90 minutes fighting off the Germans, putting out fires, throwing exploding ammunition off the plane and tending to the wounded. At one point, Smith even resorted to whipping out “little snuffy” and urinating on the fire to put out the flames. His actions in the back of the aircraft were credited with saving the crew and for his actions on his first combat mission, Snuffy would be awarded the nation’s highest military honor. He would then finish his career getting busted down in rank for poor conduct and when he received his Medal of Honor from the Secretary of War, he was on KP duty for punishment.

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Bilecki Law Group, PLLC
RAF Lakenheath, Brandon, UK

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Good Men And Women Of The Air Force Have Trouble With The UCMJ

We tell you the story of Airman Snuffy because we have to dispel the myth that only scumbags and shitbirds get into trouble with the UCMJ. That’s just not the case as we have defended some of the finest men and women to ever serve in the United States Air Force. When commands wield the UCMJ with fickle and arbitrary intent, good men and women find themselves in a world of trouble and we fight like hell to defend them as a result. Below you find just a few of the UCMJ charges we defend and we think you’ll quickly find that we don’t scare easily.

 

UCMJ Article 120 or Article 134 (Sex offenses) – These cases can include rape, sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, abusive sexual contact, sexual assault of a minor, indecent viewing, indecent recording, forcible pandering, indecent exposure, and other Article 120 and Article 120(c) offenses.

Now, the current climate within the military is that there is a no holds barred campaign to root out sexual assault in the military. Good, we support that. The only problem is that the campaign has created a climate where allegations are being treated as objective fact and the mere insinuation of misconduct is enough to ruin a career. This isn’t right and it is not justice. If you are wrongly charged under Article 120, you’re going to have to fight like hell to save your career and Airmen at RAF Lakenheath are no exception.

UCMJ Article 121 (Fraud and Larceny) – We defend cases such as conspiracy to defraud the military, BAH fraud, OHA fraud, extortion, larceny, wrongful appropriation, and more. BAH fraud is one of the more common charges we defend and navigating BAH in a foreign land is all the more complicated.

It’s not cheap to live off base in England and oftentimes, young Air Force personnel just make silly mistakes. A misunderstanding that resulted in charges of BAH fraud or wrongful appropriation shouldn’t end your career. You can fight back and you can win.

UCMJ Article 128 (Assault and Violent Crime) – We represent service members facing charges including murder, manslaughter, aggravated assault, assault, and cases involving self-defense and defense of another. Airmen fight, they just do. This is true in America, and this is true in the United

Kingdom. We need men and women who are not afraid of a fight and we will fight to save your career if charged under Article 128.

The problem is that what can start out as a simple Airman’s fight, can turn into serious charges when a makeshift weapon like a pool cue or beer bottle gets involved. It could be something as simple as an Airman out at the local pub who unknowingly disparages the local football club and as we all know, soccer hooligans don’t play nice. A fight should not end your career.

UCMJ Article 112a (Drug Crimes) – We defend cases involving drug possession, drug distribution, drug importation, drug manufacturing, drug trafficking, positive urinalysis cases, tampering with urinalysis cases, and more. These cases often involve illegal controlled substances such as marijuana, LSD, methamphetamines, cocaine, ecstasy, molly, opioids, analogues, and more.

Drugs flow throughout communities in the United States and unfortunately for Airmen stationed at RAF Lakenheath, drugs flow in the United Kingdom as well. It is remarkably easy for Air Force personnel to get caught up at the wrong place at the wrong time while off base in the U.K. It often includes local civilians and while they will walk away with a slap on the wrist, you’ll find yourself standing tall in front of the UCMJ with everything on the line.

Punitive Articles of the UCMJ 77-134 (Military Specific Offenses) – These include charges such as fraternization, unauthorized absence (AWOL), disobeying a lawful order, conduct unbecoming an officer, and much more.

Service members stationed on foreign soil are often disproportionately penalized for minor infractions because commands don’t want the wrath of the local population when an Airman does something stupid off base. You can fight back against these silly charges.

How To Fight Back Against UCMJ Abuse Out Of RAF Lakenheath

When you are facing charges under the UCMJ, you have a fight coming your way whether you like it or not. That’s because the military justice system does not exist for the purpose of pursuing justice. The military justice system exists to preserve military order and discipline. For that to work, they have to make a public example out of someone to scare everyone else into compliance. If you don’t fight back, they will make that example out of you, your innocence be damned.

There is a reason why U.S. service personnel fly Bilecki Law Group in from all over the world to defend their cases. That’s because he knows how to take the fight to the military justice system and win. Namesake and founder, Tim Bilecki, spent years inside the military justice system as a senior defense counsel for the Army. He can tell you first hand how the deck is stacked against the defense. There is a reason that military prosecutors boast a 90% conviction rate and that is because it was never a fair fight from the start.

Now that Bilecki is on the other side of the uniform, he doesn’t have to worry about his own military career like many free JAG defense attorneys. He will absolutely shred the prosecution’s case and any witness they put on the stand, regardless of rank. The military justice system does not want and is not used to fight. So, that’s exactly what he gives them.

Court Martial Defense At RAF Lakenheath Requires Experience

Once again, you’re on foreign soil and yes, maybe you did something stupid, but it shouldn’t be the end of your Air Force career. If a man like Snuffy can earn the nation’s highest military honor, you have more to offer as well. You have to fight back or they will make a public example out of you just to scare everyone else. Make yourself a harder target and let them make that example out of the next guy.

You’re going to need an experienced military defense attorney and you need to get one now, even if you are just under investigation. We’ll put together our own investigation and we’ll be there at every turn to let the prosecution know that they have a fight on their hands.

Reach out to us and we’ll give you a free defense strategy session that you can use, even if you choose not to retain us. Get us into the fight on your behalf because your career, retirement, and your freedom are all on the line. Don’t lay down and expect mercy as that just gives them all the more reason to believe that you will be that easy example. Stand up, fight back and get us into that fight.

Don’t just plead guilty… Fight Back !

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