The U.S. Air Force has apologized to Sen. Martha McSally after the Arizona Republican revealed that a superior officer raped her when she was in the service.

McSally spoke about her experience Wednesday during a Senate hearing on the military’s efforts to prevent sexual assaults and improve the response when they occur. An Air Force Academy graduate, she was the first female Air Force fighter pilot to fly in combat and served for 26 years.

McSally said she didn’t report the sexual assault because she didn’t trust the system.

During a hearing by the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Personnel about prevention and response to sexual assault in the military, Sen. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
During a hearing by the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Personnel about prevention and response to sexual assault in the military, Sen. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

An Air Force spokeswoman, Capt. Carrie Volpe, said the Air Force is appalled by what happened to McSally and “deeply sorry.” Volpe said the actions McSally described are criminal and violate ever part of what it means to be an Airman.

During a hearing by the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Personnel about prevention and response to sexual assault in the military, Sen. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
During a hearing by the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Personnel about prevention and response to sexual assault in the military, Sen. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
During a hearing by the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Personnel about prevention and response to sexual assault in the military, Sen. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
During a hearing by the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Personnel about prevention and response to sexual assault in the military, Sen. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Sen. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., left, is greeted by Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., chairman of the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Personnel, as she prepares to testify about her experience with sexual assault while serving as a colonel in the Air Force, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, March 6, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Sen. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., left, is greeted by Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., chairman of the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Personnel, as she prepares to testify about her experience with sexual assault while serving as a colonel in the Air Force, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, March 6, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., the ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Personnel, listens as the panel holds a hearing about prevention and response to sexual assault in the military, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, March 6, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., the ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Personnel, listens as the panel holds a hearing about prevention and response to sexual assault in the military, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, March 6, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Sen. Martha McSally, the first female fighter pilot to fly in combat, said Wednesday that she was raped in the Air Force by a superior officer. (March 6)
Sen. Martha McSally, the first female fighter pilot to fly in combat, said Wednesday that she was raped in the Air Force by a superior officer. (March 6)