Risqué swimsuit calendar prompts investigation by Utah National Guard
BLUFFDALE - The Utah National Guard confirmed to FOX 13 it has launched an investigation into a risqué swimsuit calendar that may have been shot using its facilities, equipment and personnel without authorization.
Video of buxom models riding around in tanks and firing guns was put out to promote the "Hot Shots 2015″ calendar.
"This year we're shooting the calendar in Utah, in the U.S. of A!" proclaims British model Rosie Jones on the video. "We've got loads of tanks, boats, helicopters and, of course, loads of guns!"
Also on the video are people who appear to be members of the Utah National Guard. "Hot Shots" gives a special thanks at the end to "Soldiers of the 19th Special Forces Group."
Utah National Guard Lt. Col. Steven Fairbourn told FOX 13 that an internal investigation had been initiated to determine if the guard's "equipment, facilities and personnel" was used in the calendar shoot. In a statement, Fairbourn said there was no approval for the project by the Guard.
Read the statement by the Utah National Guard here:
An investigation was initiated by the Utah National Guard on Oct. 14 to determine potential unauthorized use of military equipment, facilities, and personnel in the Hot Shots 2015 calendar production. Productions of this kind are not in keeping with the values of the Utah National Guard nor its members. Use of military equipment, facilities, and personnel in civilian for-profit endeavors such as this requires approval of National Guard Bureau Public Affairs through the respective state National Guard Headquarters. There was no official approval for this project. The investigation will determine if Utah National Guard equipment, facilities, and personnel were used in the Hot Shots 2015 calendar production and required actions if this is the case.
The "Hot Shots 2015″ calendar also thanked Fort Douglas Military Museum. The museum's director, Bob Voyles, told FOX 13 they had been approached by a member of the Special Forces Association to shoot a couple of scenes for a calendar.
"They assured me there would be nothing inappropriate," he said.
Voyles noted that as a public facility, Fort Douglas has played host to a number of film shoots, including commercials, movies and weddings. Other portions of the video show the models shooting guns at Big Shot Ranch, a private shooting range in Grantsville.
Attempts to reach the makers of "Hot Shots 2015″ for comment on Thursday were unsuccessful. The company was based in the United Kingdom, but its website said a portion of the proceeds for the calendar went to the "Help for Heroes" charity for wounded veterans.
House Minority Leader Jennifer Seelig, D-Salt Lake City, said the calendar shoot raised a number of questions for her.
"If this video was shot at a government restricted facility using government specialized military equipment, either leadership knew about this -- or their security protocols aren't robust enough to keep a bunch of calendar girls and their crew and assorted groupies out," she said.
Seelig, who sits on the Executive Appropriations Committee that has some oversight of the Utah National Guard, said she anticipated lawmakers would have some tough questions at future hearings. Seelig wanted to know if anyone in the guard profited from the calendar shoot.
She also said the whole incident sends a bad message to girls and women.
"It flies in the face of any progress we have made in the military and sends out this archaic message to girls and women that their true value lies in their body parts," Seelig said.
Governor Gary Herbert's office told FOX 13 on Thursday it was following the Utah National Guard's investigation.