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    NSF Diego Garcia SAAPM Proclamation Signing

    NSF Diego Garcia SAAPM

    Photo By Petty Officer 2nd Class Jan David Mercado | 220401-N-EJ241-1022 DIEGO GARCIA, British Indian Ocean Territory (April 1, 2022)...... read more read more



    Story by Petty Officer 2nd Class Jan David Mercado 

    U.S. Navy Support Facility Diego Garcia

    DIEGO GARCIA, British Indian Ocean Territory (April 1, 2022) -- In support of the 21st Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention month (SAAPM), Capt. Richard D. Payne, commanding officer of Naval Support Facility (NSF) Diego Garcia, signed the SAAPM proclamation during a cake cutting event, April 1, 2022.

    “Eliminating sexual assault from our ranks is an all hands, year-round effort,” said Payne. “Every Sailor, civilian, and family member plays a part.”

    Payne also spoke about the observance and the role the Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC) and Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) Unit Victim Advocates (UVA) have in the Diego Garcia community.

    The proclamation and SAAPM’s purpose is to raise awareness and prevent sexual assault, harassment, and abuse from happening amongst civilians and military members.

    “This year’s cake reflected on the Navy’s Call to Action: Respect. Protect. Empower,” said Shelia Bacon, NSF Diego Garcia region SARC. “It recognizes our UVAs and highlights the observance of Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month to raise awareness about sexual violence and educate communities on how to prevent it.”

    “It is very unique here on Diego Garcia since it is a joint effort with Navy and Air Force working together to prevent and respond to sexual assault, eliminating it from our ranks through a balance of focused education, comprehensive response, compassionate advocacy, and just adjudication to promote professionalism, respect, and trust, while preserving a joint mission,” said Bacon.

    Every year, the Navy participates in SAAPM during the month of April with awareness-raising events, command-sponsored activities to engage Sailors in prevention and active intervention strategies, and trainings that provide tools and actionable skills to service members, DoD civilians, contractors, and family members while highlighting this year’s theme, “Step Forward. Prevent. Report. Advocate.”

    “With this being my first year serving on the island in such a remote location, I was an essential part of a very dedicated team,” said Bacon. “I’ve found that individuals at all levels use their personal strengths to advance positive change in preventing sexual violence.”

    According to Bacon, sexual assault prevention is not just a monthly endeavor but a daily practice that takes every individual on the island to be a steadfast participant in creating an appropriate and respectful culture.

    The SAPR UVAs are at the forefront of Diego Garcia’s effort to prevent sexual assault and to support anyone affected by it, and with are more than 25 UVAs who stand always ready to assist, their invaluable support and dedication to the SAPR program helps to create an environment where sexual assault is not tolerated, condoned, nor ignored.

    During the month of April, the SAPR team will help raise awareness about sexual assault on Diego Garcia and highlight several UVAs, both Navy and Air Force, via NSF Diego Garcia’s social media channels.

    The DoD Safe Helpline can connect you to your local SAPR Program and provides live, individualized support. Services are available to the DoD community 24/7 via telephone (1-877-995-5247), text (55-247 if CONUS or 571-470-5546 if OCONUS), or online (

    For more information please contact the NSF Diego Garcia SARC at (315) 370 - 8383.

    For more information on events happening in NSF Diego Garcia, visit



    Date Taken: 04.01.2022
    Date Posted: 04.07.2022 09:01
    Story ID: 418015
    Location: DIEGO GARCIA, IO 
    Hometown: MILFORD, CT, US
    Hometown: PAMPA, TX, US

    Web Views: 47
    Downloads: 0