PENSACOLA, Fla. (NNS) -- In recognition of the Department of Defense (DoD) Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month (SAAPM) observed each April, more than 1,500 Naval Air Technical Training Center (NATTC) students participated in the 6th Annual Amazing Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) Challenge April 20.
The event, onboard Naval Air Station Pensacola, is designed to increase awareness of sexual assault situations, the role of alcohol in sexual assault, active intervention strategies, and avenues of support for sexual assault victims. The proactive challenge stresses the importance communities, DoD and the Navy place on mitigating sexual assault.
"These young men and women are new to the United States Navy and Marine Corps, and providing them with the right tools to ensure they are able to recognize, intervene and report any form of sexual assault is demanded of us," said Capt. Maxine Goodridge, NATTC commanding officer. "Here at NATTC we are not just teaching them how to be aviation technicians, but how to be leaders, how to be a meaningful and responsible part of this Navy and Marine Corps family, where sexual assault within our ranks is never tolerated at any level."
SAPR is a DoD-wide program designed to educate service members on sexual assault, provide support to victims of sexual assault and generate awareness on sexual assault issues, reporting procedures and bystander intervention.
Participants visited four booths as they ran along a 3.1-mile course. At three of the four stops, runners answered SAPR-related questions, and viewed briefs on alcohol deglamorization and active intervention before performing push-ups, squats and jumping jacks before continuing the course. Signs along the route provided information to assist in answering questions at each stop.
"We try to make this as informative and educational as possible while still having fun," said Chief Air Traffic Controlman Amber Khoryati, a NATTC air traffic control instructor and the command SAPR coordinator. "The information FFSC [Fleet and Family Support Center] and members of CSADD [Coalition of Sailors Against Destructive Decisions] are putting out is material designed to familiarize them with a topic the Navy and DoD take seriously. The staff who organized this event put in quite a bit of work to make sure that we continue providing not only the best aviation technical training but are always reinforcing the Navy's values as well."
The fourth booth, manned by NAS Pensacola FFSC Sexual Assault and Response Program coordinators (SARC) provided information on the importance of the program and reporting procedures, something NAS Pensacola FFSC SARC Jennifer Walker said is important for all service members to know. Area SARC personnel quizzed participants.
"Events such as this are important because they highlight sexual assault awareness and response and awareness to young service men and women," said Walker. "Service members need to care for their fellow service members, and these sorts of events can help reinforce how to recognize and report sexual assault."
The DoD SAPR program has been in existence since 2005, with observances such as runs, lecture series and informative seminars at U.S. military installations and commands throughout the world being held each April, internationally recognized as SAAPM
For more than 70 years, with the last two decades at NAS Pensacola, NATTC has been providing aviation technical training and increasing readiness within the Naval Aviation Enterprise. The facility graduates approximately 13,000 Navy, Marine Corps and international students annually.
NATTC is part of the Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training, which provides single site management for Navy and Marine Corps aviation technical training.
CNATT is the technical training agent for the Naval Aviation Enterprise, an organization designed to advance and sustain naval aviation warfighting capabilities at an affordable cost under Naval Education and Training Command.
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