NAVAL AIR FACILITY MISAWA, Japan – Naval Air Facility Misawa conducted a sexual assault awareness stand down here, April 27, 2012, for all Navy Misawa personnel.
The two-hour training session, organized in conjunction with April being Sexual Assault Awareness Month, covered a broad range of topics including prevention, response, family advocacy and the Victim Witness Assistance Program.
“Today’s training is to promote sexual assault awareness, and to emphasize that we all have the ability to prevent this crime from happening,” said Gunner’s Mate 1st Class Patrick Ryan, originally from Fresno, Calif., who helped facilitate the stand down. “Every year the Navy and DoD seek to improve upon sexual assault education and training, but this year they are seeking to educate beyond basic awareness, and focusing, not only on the victim's rights, but toward prevention as a whole.”
During SAAM, all Navy commands are charged with ensuring their sailors are aware of the scope of the sexual assault problem in the military, are aware of the resources available to victims, the detrimental affect sexual assault has on readiness, and that the Navy will not tolerate the victimization of its personnel.
“Ultimately we’d like to eradicate this problem from the military,” said Lt. j.g. Jerry Cottrell, the NAF Misawa training officer, who originally hails from Roswell, N.M. “But to make that happen we have to increase awareness, promote the removal of common risk factors, and foster an environment of trust amongst our sailors.”
More than 200 sailors stationed or deployed to Misawa attended the stand down, which featured guest speakers from both the Navy and Air Force.
“Regardless of service, it is our obligation to provide a safe and productive work environment for our sailors, said NAF Misawa Commanding Officer Capt. Chris Rodeman, a native of Anderson, Ind. “Besides impacting the victim, sexual assault undermines our Navy Core Values and Ethos, which in turn, denigrates unit readiness and cohesiveness.
“It will not be tolerated here in Misawa or any where else in our military.”
For more news from Naval Air Facility Misawa, visit https://www.cnic.navy.mil/misawa/index.htm or check out our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/nafmisawa.