News Briefs – April 22, 2016

New game offers Army training on sexual harassment, assault

An interactive video game has been developed to train Army command teams on how to respond to accusations of sexual harassment and sexual assault.
ELITE SHARP CTT was introduced at the beginning of April. Army members can download the game for free.
The Leavenworth Times reported the game was developed by the Institute for Creative Technologies at the University of Southern California with help from the Games for Training Program at Fort Leavenworth. The SHARP Academy at the Kansas base also validated the game’s content. Maj. Greg Pavlichko is chief of the Leavenworth games program.
“It gives them a good overview of how to respond to sexual assault, sexual harassment incidents,” Pavlichko said.
Pavlichko said the game has three components. The first is instructional and the second part features vignettes demonstrating good and bad responses to certain situations. The final component allows users to interact with virtual characters and choose the best response. Pavlichko said the best answer may not be obvious because they are “subtly different.”
Pavlichko acknowledged some of the language in the interactive game is colorful, but said that makes the game more realistic.
Lt. Col. Jeff Bevington with the SHARP Academy said officials involved with the ELITE game are now trying to get the word out.
“We are trying to educate the Army on this tool,” Bevington said.
ELITE is an acronym for Emergent Leader Immersive Training Environment. SHARP stands for Sexual Harassment Assault Response and Training, while CTT means Command Team Trainer. AP

NATO Chief: Syria cease-fire best basis for peace

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg says Syria’s fragile cease-fire remains best the hope for ending the conflict.
Speaking in the Turkish capital, Ankara, he said the cease-fire was “under strain” but remains the “best basis for a negotiated, peaceful solution to the crisis.”
Stoltenberg noted that Russia has maintained a “considerable military presence” in support of the Syrian government despite announcing a partial withdrawal.
A February cease-fire agreement between President Bashar Assad’s government and rebel fighters, which excluded extremist factions like the Islamic State group, greatly reduced violence in Syria but has all but collapsed in the north of the country amid faltering peace talks in Geneva. AP

Boeing: Some South Carolina workers being offered buyout

Boeing says some of its South Carolina workers are being offered buyouts as the company works to cut 4,000 employees companywide by June.
Boeing South Carolina spokeswoman Elizabeth Merida confirmed in an email that a small number of South Carolina workers are being offered buyouts. She did not say how many.
The Post and Courier of Charleston reported 200 employees were being offered the buyout locally but the company is not expected to cut that many in North Charleston where it has a 787 Dreamliner assembly plant.
Boeing earlier announced it needs to make the job cuts by June because of competition with aircraft manufacturer Airbus. Boeing said reductions would initially be through attrition and a voluntary buyout package for about 1,600 workers.
Boeing employs about 8,200 people in South Carolina. AP

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