AF uses innovative tactics to tackle sexual assault issue
As part of an innovative initiative to reduce sexual assault across the Air Force, Minot Air Force Base has partnered with the Gracie Academy to certify 100 men and women of the U.S. Air Force in the Gracie Women Empowered program, April 15 to 19.
In 2012, the U.S. Air Force saw a 30 percent increase in sexual assault reports ranging from inappropriate touching to rape. There were 796 reports filed, compared to 614 reported in 2011.
Air Force senior leaders acknowledged and have been focused on sexual assault prevention and response for many years. As such, several programs were created to address this growing trend to include having a sexual assault response coordinator at every base, victim advocates program, Bystander Intervention Training and other resources.
“The goal for the Air Force is zero sexual assaults,” said Col. Alex Mezynski, 5th Bomb Wing commander. “Hopefully our Airmen can utilize this as another tool to protect themselves from sexual assaults and encourage others throughout our force to learn techniques to defend themselves as well.”
In an effort to bring awareness to the criminal act of sexual assaults, increase self confidence in potential victims and provide predator awareness strategies, the Gracie Jiu Jitsu family created the Gracie Women Empowered program. Rener Gracie has teamed up with former World Wrestling Entertainment’s Eve Torres to teach a one-week intensive training program.
“When we got the call from Minot AFB with the request to assist in reducing the frequency of sexual assaults in the Air Force, we were incredibly honored,” Rener Gracie said.
The Air Force Academy Cyber Team won the National Security Agency’s Cyber Defense Exercise, held April 16 through 18, for the second year in a row, outscoring teams from other military academies in the U.S. and Canada.
Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley announced he will step down June 21 as the Air Force’s top civilian. Donley was confirmed as the 22nd secretary of the Air Force Oct. 2, 2008. He served as the acting secretary since June of that year, as well as for seven months in 1993, making him the longest serving secretary in the history of the Air Force.
More than 80 Airmen from Ramstein Air Base participated in exercise Carpathian Spring April 12 through 21 in Romania. The upgrade training exercise was designed for aircrews as well as building partnership capacity with Romanians.
Four Airmen were killed April 27 near Kandahar Airfield in the crash of an MC-12 aircraft. The cause of the crash is under investigation, however initial reporting indicates there was no enemy activity in the area at the time of the crash.