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'Open season' for sex at Alaskan base, military officials say

Mark Farmer / AP file

Workers lower a ground-based missile interceptor into its silo at Fort Greely near Delta Junction, Alaska, on July 22, 2004.

An Army battalion commander at the Space and Missile Defense Command at Fort Greely, Alaska, is under investigation for allegedly "condoning" adultery and creating an "open season" climate when it comes to sexual activity among the troops, military and defense officials tell NBC News.

According to one military official, "It's as if that was the only thing to do" at the remote Alaska base.

As of now, there appear to be no allegations of sexual assault involved in the investigation. The sources report there are allegations that an officer or officers had sexual relations with female soldiers under their command.

Consensual relations with a subordinate would still be a violation of regulations.

The commanding general ordered the investigation upon learning of the allegations. 

Fort Greely is near Delta Junction in the Alaskan interior. It is a launch site for anti-ballistic-missile missiles, and because of the bitter winters there it is home to the Cold Regions Test Center.

The Department of Defense has been ramping up efforts to fight sexual assault within the ranks. Earlier this month, the department said that the number of cases increased sharply in the last year. The military has also been hit with a number of high-profile cases within units that investigate sexual abuse.

In Congress, there have been a number of proposals to address how the military investigates and prosecutes sexual assault cases.

On Friday, President Obama called on graduates of the Naval Academy to “live with integrity” and help restore trust in a military.

“Those who commit sexual assault are not only committing a crime, they threaten the trust and discipline that make our military strong,” he said at the graduation ceremony in Annapolis, Md.

On Saturday, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel repeated the message to the graduating class at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., calling on cadets to build a “culture of respect and dignity” while calling sexual harassment and assault within the military a “profound betrayal” of “sacred oaths and trusts.” 

Jim Miklaszewski is NBC News' chief Pentagon correspondent. Courtney Kube is NBC News' Pentagon producer.

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