By Peg McEntee
SALT LAKE CITY (Reuters) - Images of gun-toting women wearing camouflage bikinis and riding in a tank at a Utah target range have prompted an investigation into whether National Guard and state police gear and uniforms were improperly used in the photo shoot, officials said Friday.
The photos were to appear in the 2015 "Hot Shots Calendar," produced by a company of the same name, to raise money for wounded veterans charities in Britain and the United States, according its website.
The pictures and accompanying video have spurred an inquiry by the Utah National Guard, which reported that one of its members was apparently wearing an official uniform for the shoot at a gun range east of the Great Salt Lake.
The Utah Department of Public Safety also said it was looking into the images after two of its officers appeared featured in state police uniforms.
"Two of our folks were involved in this, and that's the only involvement right now, we believe from discussions,” Captain Doug McCleave of the Public Safety Department said. "The question we're looking at is why they wore their uniforms."
The public safety officers' appearance drew attention because they were members of a special emergency response team, he added.
"What it looks like is that a couple of good officers made a bad decision,” McCleave said. "Keeping everything in perspective, a lack of judgment is what we're concerned with.”
He said there was no indication that any of the department's weapons or ammunition were used in the shoot.
The Utah National Guard said in a statement that it had confirmed there had been unauthorized and “limited filming with Guard personnel and equipment” at the Guard's Camp Williams in the Salt Lake Valley.
It said the Guard did not provide weapons, ammunition or range locations for the Hot Shots production and said disciplinary action would be taken against those found to have facilitated the photo shoot on Guard property.
(Editing by Victoria Cavaliere, Robert Birsel)