By Staff Sgt. Alexander Martinez, 15th Wing Public Affairs
In an effort to keep 15th Wing members informed and trained on sexual assault prevention and response (SAPR), Airmen and civilians participated in a SAPR down day on May 15.
The SAPR down day is part of a broader effort led by Air Force leadership to ensure everyone receives in-depth training on ways to prevent sexual assault and identify offenders.
The training day kicked off with a commander’s call hosted by Col. Johnny Roscoe, 15th Wing commander.
Roscoe emphasized the importance of the day’s training and shared ways in which everyone can prevent sexual assault.
“We need to, and must, act professionally on and off duty, and we need to make sure we create a climate of respect and dignity,” Roscoe said.
In a powerful moment during the commander’s call, Roscoe spoke directly to sexual assault victims in the audience.
“I want to apologize to every single one of you,” Roscoe said. “I can’t imagine what you went through, what you experienced, or what you will go through. Your courage is inspiring to all of us.”
Following the commander’s call, attendees gathered within their units for small-group training and team-building exercises that highlighted ways to identify and deter sexual assault offenders. “I think the day went very well, ” said Machelle Terrell, 15th Wing sexual assault response coordinator.
“Wing leadership did a great job emphasizing the importance of this training. Efforts to prevent sexual assault starts with leadership, so we’re on the right track here.”
Terrell was a key organizer of the down day. She helped provide training for hundreds of SAPR training facilitators who led the day’s unit events.
“The small group exercises were an effective training tool because it allowed people of all backgrounds and perspectives to share their thoughts on ways to deal with sexual assault,” Terrell said.
“This training was slightly different than training in the past because it put an emphasis on dealing with the sexual assault offenders instead of just concentrating on ways to not be a sexual assault victim. We’ve received positive feedback so far from the participants,” she said.
There are several resources available for people seeking information on sexual assault-related topics. If you are a victim in need of immediate help, call 449-7272, which is a 24-hour hotline. For general SAPR information, call 448-3192/3193.
There is a Safety Awareness Resource Change (SARC) resource page link available at http://www.15wing.af.mil. Also, the SARC office is located in building 1113 for walk-in assistance.