News: Bagram’s SARC, EO director visit Kabul
Story by Tech. Sgt. Rob Hazelett
Bagram Airfield’s sexual assault response coordinator and equal opportunity representative made a site visit to Kabul, Afghanistan, Aug. 5-6.
Maj. Jason Guadalupe, 455th Air Expeditionary Wing SARC, is responsible for all airmen, to include joint expeditionary tasked and individual augmentees, in Regional Command East, North and the Capital to assist any victims of sexual assault.
The SARC serves as the single point of contact for integrating and coordinating sexual assault response capability for all victims in their area of responsibility. The SARC office also provides sexual assault prevention training throughout their AOR.
Sexual Assault is criminal conduct that falls well short of the Air Force standards and is a violation of the Air Force Core Values. Any airman, civilian or contractor who feel they have been a victim of sexual assault in Afghanistan may contact the SARC office at DSN 481-SARC (7272) or Roshan 079-872-5042.
Guadalupe, deployed here from Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, spreads preventative training and education to forward operating bases and camps bi-weekly depending on local operations and workload.
“We are all on the same team in preventing and responding to sexual assaults. If there are ever any concerns, questions or a need to make a report of sexual assault, I am one of two Air Force SARCs in Afghanistan,” said Guadalupe, a 19-year Air Force veteran and native from the Bronx, N.Y. “The other SARC in Kandahar covers all forward operating bases in the south and west.”
However, if someone is in immediate need to talk to a SARC face-to-face, they can also see the numerous Army sexual harassment/assault response and prevention specialists, or victim advocates who are in place at most FOBs, Guadalupe said.
Master Sgt. Kenneethia Kennard, 455th AEW equal opportunity director, adheres to the belief that the primary objective of the EO program is to improve mission effectiveness by promoting an environment free from personal, social or institutional barriers that prevent Air Force members from rising to the highest level of responsibility possible, based on their individual merit, fitness and capability.
“We take a proactive approach to ensure the deployed environment is free from discrimination, sexual harassment and human relations matters that detract from mission focus and accomplishment,” said Kennard, and 18-year Air Force veteran raised in Colorado Springs, Colo. “We are a helping avenue to assist military members and DoD civilians resolve EO-related concerns.”
Kennard, deployed here from Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, is able to get her word out via BAF’s combat orientation, commander’s calls and FOB trips. She mentioned people here can see her on Camp Cunningham, where her office is located on the 1st floor in the lodging building.
“I just want to let people know they don’t have to wait until they get back home with a military EO issue, they can contact us here and we can look into it for them,” Kennard said.
For information about EO, call Kennard at DSN 318-447-6226 or email her at 455.AEW.EO@bgab.afcent.af.mil.