Airmen Gather to Discuss Sexual Assault Prevention

Air Force leaders are hosting a sexual assault prevention and response conference at JB Andrews, Md., this week. Each day is governed by a different theme, said service officials. Monday’s sessions focused on prevention. Tuesday’s dealt with culture and climate, and Wednesday’s will cover communication and relationships. Thursday’s sessions will serve as a “toolkit” to train airmen on topics around social media and leveraging the presence of bystanders in sexual assault prevention. Friday will consist of working group presentations and a closeout session featuring Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Larry Spencer. “I think the conference is an important step as we look to permanently shift the Air Force culture to one which embraces and emphasizes persistent focus at all times on dignity, respect, and inclusiveness for all of our airmen,” said service Secretary Deborah Lee James in her opening remarks. Airmen are dressing in civilian clothing and addressing each other sans ranks during the conference, “to foster a climate of frank and honest discussion,” states a Jan. 13 release.