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U.S. Air Force News

  • Special Victims’ Counsel is here to help survivors

    She was an officer with nearly nine years of service, who had been selected for promotion. She joined some colleagues on a weekend camping trip to take advantage of the summer weather. After enjoying a bonfire and games, they all settled in for the night, but one man, a fellow officer, didn’t.

  • The voice of the victims

    Power: the strength to make a decision. Control: the means to carry it out. These things are the currency of freedom, and what are robbed from sexual assault victims.

  • Air Force extends SAPR services to AF civilians

    The Air Force released a policy memo today allowing Air Force civilian employees who are victims of sexual assault to file restricted and unrestricted reports with their installation's sexual assault response coordinator.

  • Sexual Assault: A conversation with a survivor

    She had just returned from a party her freshman year in college when a close friend of the family and trusted mentor did the unthinkable. It was the first weekend she’d been allowed to stay off campus. After having one too many drinks she was picked up from the party by her boyfriend and driven to

  • Take Back the Night 2015: 'Shattering the Silence'

    Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James, along with the first survivor to speak out nationally about date rape, spoke to cadets during the U.S. Air Force Academy's second annual Take Back the Night (TBN) event April 16 at the Academy's Clune Arena in Colorado.

  • AF sexual assault prevention: moving in the right direction

    “I was raised in a household where you take responsibility for your own actions and don’t blame others for your downfalls,” said Tech. Sgt. Kathleen Thorburn. “Instead of seeing a crime that had occurred, all I could see were my mistakes. Why did I go to that party? Why did I accept the drink? Why

  • AF Special Victims' Counsel provides legal assistance, support

    If a sexual assault happens, it is crucial for individuals to know who they can turn to, where they can go and what help is available to them.April is Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month. The month focuses on ensuring Airmen and families are aware of the resources available to aid in the

  • Wingman now a part of BMT culture

    Glamorized during the ‘80s movie ‘Top Gun,’ the concept of a wingman was to always keep the lead pilot safe, even at the cost of veering off to fight the enemy. For the past few years, “wingman” has become a pledge, promise and commitment between Airmen to take care of themselves and those around

  • Kunsan sexual assault prevention, response team brings home AF-level award

    The 8th Fighter Wing Sexual Assault Response Coordinator Maj. Daniel Giannavola, and Deputy SARC, Capt. Poonsak Kajonpong, were announced as the Air Force-level winners for the Department of Defense Sexual Assault Prevention Innovation Award for the timeframe of Oct. 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014.

  • Hagel: Numbers reflect victim confidence in reporting assaults

    A 50-percent increase in sexual assaults in the armed forces reflected in the Defense Department’s latest annual report indicates growing willingness among victims to report the crime and increasing confidence the military is providing them with support and taking action against perpetrators,

  • Introducing the ‘unnamed conspirator’

    As part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, a briefing was held April 18 here, to help educate Airmen on the impact of sexual assault across the service and the nation, and how they can get involved in the fight to change the culture that supports it.

  • SecAF: AF committed to preventing sexual assault

    In observation of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James released a video charging all Airmen to join senior leaders and take action against sexual assault.

  • AF receives top honors for Special Victims’ Counsel Program

    The Air Force Special Victims’ Counsel Program received the Federal Service Award April 9 at the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. The Federal Service Award honors individuals for their direct service to victims of federal crime.

  • I will no longer be a victim

    A first-person account of a victim of sexual and physical abuse as a child and sexual harrassment and misconduct while working for the military.

  • AF JAG Corps gains insight at SAPR Summit

    The Air Force Judge Advocate General Corps held its first Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Summit Dec. 17-18 at the Air Force Senior Noncommissioned Officer Academy here.The purpose of the summit was to bring total force legal professionals together to improve the way they handle all aspects

  • Sexual assault reports drop at service academies

    Reports of sexual assault decreased in two of the three military academies in academic year 2012-13, officials of the Defense Department's Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office said today.

  • DOD strives to eliminate sexual assault

    Eliminating sexual assault in the U.S. military is one of the Defense Department’s highest priorities and the department welcomes President Barack Obama’s continued leadership on this issue and shares his commitment to doing what it takes to solve this problem, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said in

  • CSAF hosts summit to address sexual assault

    Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. Mark A. Welsh III hosted a Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Summit Dec.11 and 12 as part of the Air Force's ongoing effort to provide education and analysis on the issue and to discuss the complex leadership concerns sexual assault presents.

  • Women Empowered seminar instills Jiu-Jitsu, self-defense strategies

    Hundreds of feet pounding the wrestling mats echoed in the fitness center here. A stern man instructed the students to not remove their hand from the ground before planting their feet on the floor.In an effort to reduce the frequency of sexual assaults in the armed forces, the Gracie Academy created

  • Sexual assault 'trial' gives Airmen real life perspective

    It started off as a typical Friday night for many Airmen with their wallets full of money to burn, their stomachs ready to chug the best German beers and their minds ready to explore the undefined possibilities of "hooking up." But for two of them, their alcohol-fueled night would end in a shattered

  • Air Force takes swift action against sexual assault

    It's not an overstatement to say that the past many years have been challenging for those in the military working to prevent sexual assault and sexual trauma. However, for those who've been victimized it has been much worse, and we should never forget that. The harm in this crime is not just

  • Doors open at first AF collocated sexual assault victim support facility

    A collocated Special Victims' Council and sexual assault response coordinator office began operations here June 3, marking an Air Force first and the arrival of a revolutionary Air Force pilot program, providing specialized legal assistance to victims of sexual assault throughout the United

  • Leaders urge care in changing commanders' UCMJ responsibilities

    Commanders must be a part of any solution to the crisis of sexual assault in the military, service leaders told the Senate Armed Services Committee today.Commanders are responsible not only for the health and welfare of those in their commands, but also for good order and discipline, they

  • Officials reaffirm DOD's commitment to fighting sexual assault

    At an open house marking the Defense Department's launch of a new peer-support service for sexual assault victims, senior Pentagon officials today reaffirmed the department's commitment to eradicating sexual assault in the military.The Defense Department has joined with a private organization to

  • Obama emphasizes concern about sexual assault in military

    The crime of sexual assault undermines the trust needed for the U.S. military to do its missions, President Barack Obama said after meeting with his military leaders May 16.Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, the service secretaries, and Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey and the rest of the Joint Chiefs of

  • Hagel orders retraining of recruiters, sexual assault responders

    Amid a spate of allegations of criminal behavior by military recruiters and service members involved in the Defense Department's efforts to prevent sexual assaults and help that crime's victims, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has ordered the services to retrain, re-credential and rescreen all sexual

  • SecDef calls for culture of dignity, respect

    Allegations of misconduct against an Air Force officer in charge of the service's sexual assault prevention and response effort underscored the importance of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel's effort to prevent sexual assault across the military. Hagel began his Pentagon news conference Tuesday by

  • AF uses innovative tactics to tackle sexual assault

    As part of an innovative initiative to reduce sexual assault across the 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

  • AF observes Sexual Assault Awareness Month

    At installations around the world Airmen are working together to increase awareness, prevent and care for the victims of sexual assault, with a variety of events underway in observance of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, Air Force Personnel Center officials said.From the commander in chief to the

  • 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 here

  • Hagel seeks to limit convening authority powers under UCMJ

    Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will ask Congress to change military law so that commanders cannot overturn major convictions, the secretary announced in a written statement issued today.Article 60 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice currently gives power to "convening authorities," or commanders,

  • Revised security question helps sexual assault victims

    Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper today issued new guidance for a question that deals with mental health treatment on the questionnaire that must be completed by those seeking national security positions and security clearances.In a statement issued to announce the change, Clapper

  • Former MTI sentenced during sexual misconduct trial

    In what has become the eighth courts martial in a series of allegations against military training instructors accused of various forms of sexual misconduct or assault, a former MTI was sentenced during a trial at Joint Base San Antonio -- Lackland, Texas.A sentence was returned Feb. 14 in the

  • Academy reports show increased trust in system, better reporting

    An increase in reports of sexual assault at the U.S. Air Force Academy, the U.S. Military Academy and the U.S. Naval Academy reflect more trust in the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response program -- a silver lining and proof that the system is working, the Academy's sexual assault response

  • Air Reserve Forces Policy Committee brings strategic issues to SecAF

    Sexual Assault Prevention and Response programs, permanent-change-of-station lodging inconsistencies and TRICARE inequities within the Reserve Component were some of the issues addressed by the Air Reserve Forces Policy Committee during their meeting in the National Capital Region Nov. 5-7.Current

  • Anonymous crime tips now possible with mobile app

    Suspicious or illegal activity can now be anonymously reported directly to the Air Force Office of Special Investigations using a mobile phone application or by texting 'AFOSI' and the tip to 274637 (CRIMES) in an SMS text message.AFOSI launched these methods to capitalize on cyberspace capabilities

  • AETC seeks enduring solutions for sexual misconduct

    Air Force officials are undertaking sweeping changes to improve Air Force Basic Military Training safety and security at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland according to a report released today by Gen. Edward A. Rice Jr., Air and Education Training Command commander.The changes are the result of Air

  • Sexual assault hotline message sent to Airmen from past 10 years

    Airmen, separated and still serving, who graduated from basic military training and technical training during the past 10 years were sent an email message about an activated sexual assault hotline Oct. 15. The message is part of a thorough investigation of the military training instructor sexual

  • New DOD Safe Helpline Mobile App now available

    The Department of Defense announced its new DOD Safe Helpline Mobile Application. With this new app, service members transitioning to civilian life will have access to critical resources that assist in managing the short- and long-term effects of sexual assault. This new app is the latest in a

  • AETC commander addresses recruits' allegations of sexual misconduct

    The commander of the Air Force's Air Education and Training Command spoke to members of the media here June 28 about the on-going investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct by military training instructors (MTIs) at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas."In the fall of 2011 we discovered, to our

  • Bystander intervention training: Take a stand against sexual assault

    Bystander Intervention Training, or BIT, is the Air Force's direct strategy to provide Airmen with knowledge to recognize potentially harmful situations and take action to mitigate possible harm to their fellow wingman. Bystander intervention training is mandatory for all military personnel and for

  • Chiefs issue strategic direction to combat sexual assault

    Despite years of concerted effort, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the commandant of the Coast Guard are dissatisfied with progress made in reducing sexual assault in the military, and have released strategic direction to increase the emphasis on combatting the crime.The chiefs released a "32-star"

  • AF captain lauded for innovative sexual assault awareness training

    An Air Force Captain was recognized at the Pentagon's Hall of Heroes April18 for her actions as sexual assault response coordinator while at the 8th Fighter Wing, Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea Feb. 16 through Dec. 31, 2011.Captain Terri Zuber, Air Mobility Command Headquarters officer

  • Officials explain new sexual assault policies

    Senior Defense Department officials today said they hope more service members who are victims of sexual assault report the crimes as a result of a policy change Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta announced last week.Panetta issued guidance April 20 withholding "initial disposition authority" from any

  • AF leaders gather to address sexual assault prevention, response

    Air Force leaders from around the globe gathered at the 2012 Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Leader Summit here April 17 and 18 to learn about service-wide SAPR issues and programs.Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley and Air Force Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Phil Breedlove both spoke at

  • Overcoming sexual assault: A victim's candid story

    Living has always been a challenge for Senior Airman Jane Smith. Seemingly born into an uphill world, physically and emotionally tested at every step, spirituality had continually strengthened her and still propels her forward in life, she said.Smith was nearly driven to suicide after being sexually

  • Sexual assault hurts one, affects all

    April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and the 451st Air Expeditionary Wing Sexual Assault Response Coordinator hopes to use this time to educate the Airmen of the wing on preventing sexual assault. The Defense Department theme for this month's awareness campaign is "Hurts one. Affects all." This

  • DOD implements new changes to sexual assault response

    The Defense Department has refined new methods to aid sexual assault victims whether reporting a crime or seeking assistance as they transition from service, the director of the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office said here March 30."We have several new options for victims of sexual

  • Wingmen key to reducing sexual violence

    The Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Wing Commanders' Guide was sent out to wing commanders recently and contains statistics, facts and talking points to help leaders encourage healthy conversations among their Airmen, which senior leaders say is paramount to eliminating sexual crimes in the

  • DOD releases sexual assault report, announces new policies

    Defense Department officials released the "Annual Report on Sexual Harassment and Violence at the Military Service Academies" on Dec. 27, covering the academic year from June 1, 2010, to May 31, 2011.The report shows an increase in reports of sexual assault, with 65 reports of sexual assault

  • Panetta cites concerns of sexual assault in the ranks

    Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta will issue "very direct guidance" in the coming months about how the department should respond to sexual assaults within the ranks, the Pentagon press secretary told reporters today.George Little cited public commentary from Capitol Hill and elsewhere on the

  • DOD launches sexual assault response helpline

    Defense Department officials launched the Pentagon's newest initiative April 15 to support victims of sexual assault.The DOD Safe Helpline allows service members to click, call or text for victim support services for themselves or others.The resource is free, anonymous and confidential. Those who

  • Air Force sexual assault response coordinator earns Federal Service Award

    Dr. Charlotte Moerbe, the Joint Base San Antonio sexual assault response coordinator, was recognized for outstanding work on behalf of crime victims by Department of Justice officials April 8 during the National Crime Victims' Service Awards ceremony in Washington, D.C.Dr. Moerbe received one of two

  • 'Bystander' intervention key to stopping assault

    "Every single day for over a year, he'd come home and beat me. I came to work with black eyes, fat lips, and bruises on the sides of my neck. Nobody did anything. Nobody called the cops, nobody sent me to family advocacy; no one wanted to say anything."This was the testimony of a now 29-year-old

  • Walking a mile in her shoes

    The annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event was held in Hampton, Va., April 2, 2011. The international men’s march is designed to stop rape, sexual assault and gender violence. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Christina M. Styer)

  • Sexual Assault Awareness Month encourages bystander intervention

    The Air Force is observing Sexual Assault Awareness Month, starting April 1.The Defense Department theme for the month is "Hurts one. Affects all," which is designed to point out how sexual assault affects not only the victim, but the department as well. The Air Force's slogan supporting the DDD

  • Air Force leaders issue sexual assault prevention, response message

    Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz and Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Roy issued the following message to the men and women of the United States Air Force:We must commit to eliminating sexual assault from our Air Force.Air Force leaders

  • Air Force officials focus on sexual assault prevention

    Air Force Secretary Michael Donley directed a comprehensive review of the service's Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program as a result of information provided by a survey of active-duty members, officials said March 16.This survey was specifically designed to establish baseline data for

  • SARC's Remarks: Common factors in sexual assaults

    Hearing about sexual assault may be the single most upsetting topic that commanders deal with. Currently the Hill Air Force Base community averages two sexual assaults each month and many of these involve two or more Airmen. This is a phenomenon that is hard to understand. How could someone who

  • Air Force officials announce court-martial sentence for former command chief

    The week-long court-martial of Chief Master Sgt. William Gurney, the former command chief of Air Force Materiel Command, concluded Jan. 28 with a six-member panel of male officers sentencing the chief to 20 months confinement, reduction to rank of E-1 and a dishonorable discharge for 15 violations

  • Reports of sexual harassment, assault rise at service academies

    The number of reported sexual harassment and assaults at the armed forces' three service academies is up from last year, but the rise could be due to an increase in education and training at the schools, Defense Department officials said Dec. 15.Forty-one incidents were reported for the 2009-2010

  • Sexual assault response coordinator helps all callers

    Unlike many base agencies, the sexual assault response coordinator's office is a one-stop shop. No matter what service or component, one number is the right number."We are truly joint," said Peggy Moore-McCoy, the SARC here. "We are not dividing ourselves. We will never say 'I can't help you.' We

  • 'Sex Signals' asks Airmen to re-examine sexual cues

    Although sexual assault is no laughing matter, Airmen here found a lighthearted way to learn about it during a free show here at the base theater Sept. 2."Sex Signals", a Sexual Assault Response Coordinator program production, is a series of various dating scenes performed by professional actors who

  • Healthy dating, sexual assault awareness discussed with teens

    Department of Defense Dependents Schools high school-aged students, parents and staff members are invited to attend the "Can I Kiss You?" program touring U.S. Air Forces in Europe high schools March 22 to April 2.The USAFE sexual assault response coordinator and school liaison officer program

  • DOD officials release sexual assault statistics

    Defense Department officials here released March 17 a congressional report that examines sexual assault allegations in the military services and sets policies for reducing incidents. Key components of the annual analysis include a finding that indicates a rise in the number of incidents reported in