April 26, 2013 (NNS) -- In 2012, about 600 Sailors showed up to run a 5k road race at Naval Base Coronado to raise awareness for the Navy's Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month (SAAPM), held nationally each year in April. At the 2013 edition of the event held today, that number more than doubled.
Among the roughly 1400 participants at this year's event were members of Special Boat Team 12 (SBT-12), one of the Navy's elite maritime units. Sailors assigned to the team said they came out to show support for a Navy-wide solution to curbing sexual assault.
A Special Warfare Boat Operator 3rd Class (SWCC), whose name is being withheld to protect his identity, said the event was a good opportunity for members of Naval Special Warfare to show support for Sailors outside their own community.
"Everyone's here for the same cause," he said.
He went on to say the event was a good fit for SBT-12, as the unit could participate the SAAPM event while working out - a critical requirement for his job as a Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewman in Naval Special Warfare. He said the run fit in well with SWCC's focus on fitness.
"It's a rigorous job, so physical fitness - peak fitness - is pretty key," he said.
The competition was informal, and no times or winners were recorded. Nevertheless, that didn't stop members of SBT-12 from competing in friendly rivalries against peers.
Electrician's Mate 2nd Class Josh Williams, assigned to SBT-12, was first across the line for the group.
Williams said it was important to SBT-12 to show their support to victims of abuse.
"It's just so they know that we're there as a unit as well," he said of SBT-12's goals for the day. "It's not just the fleet, it's also the Special Warfare side."
Air Traffic Controller Chief Petty Officer (AW/SW) Alea Schuyler orgainized the event and said she was surprised but encouraged by the large turnout. Schuyler said she felt the event accomplished dual missions.
"One, you're getting everyone out and working on one purpose," Schuyler said. "Two, you're getting everyone out and working on exercise, which helps morale and physical fitness."
Schuyler said the 5k emphasized one overarching message.
"One shipmate hurt," she said, "is one too many."
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