Sexual assault awareness ‘begins at top’
To combat and put an end to sexual assault in the military, the Defense Department has designed programs to boost victim medical care, increase assault reporting and hold offenders accountable for their crimes, the director of the Pentagon’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office said April 5.
Responding to questions as a member of a panel discussing the 2012 movie “The Invisible War” as part of the End Violence Against Women international conference, Army Maj. Gen. Gary Patton discussed DOD’s no-tolerance policy on sexual assault for an audience that included first responders, prosecutors and criminal investigation department agents.
Charged with positioning the military to “win the war on sexual assault,” Patton said he believes that sexual assault cannot be conquered until it is a more visible issue. “The Invisible War” helped with that awareness, he said.
Sexual assaults are terrible crimes that have a “lasting, scary, traumatic effect” on victims, the general said.
The Defense Department works worldwide to prevent and respond to sexual assault, using “five lines of effort,” Patton said: prevention, accountability, investigation, victim advocacy and assessment.
Prevention begins with training commanders in best practices and working that effort down to the lowest level, Patton said. Each service branch, he said, has such a program in place.
Members of the 11th Air Force Rescue Coordination Center on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson completed their 5,000th mission since July 1, 1994, March 27. The RCC mission includes searching for overdue aircraft, rescuing injured hunters, locating lost hikers and helping those stranded at sea.
Fifty Air Force athletes were chosen to represent the service at the 2013 Warrior Games. The Warrior Games is an Olympic-style competition open to all wounded, ill and injured military members and veterans.
The A-10 Thunderbolt II from the 40th Flight Test Squadron at Eglin Air Force Base fired its first laser-guided rocket in February. The test squadron performed three sorties to demonstrate the capability and ensure the rocket could be fired safely from a fixed wing aircraft – a test that had never been accomplished before.
Capt. James Michael Steel, 29, of Tampa, Fla., died April 3 in the crash of an F-16 Fighting Falcon near Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. He was assigned to the 77th Fighter Squadron at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C. The pilot was returning to base from a close air support mission when he crashed.