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Sexual Assault Prevention & Response "Down Day"

More than 500 Pennsylvania Air National Guardsmen of the 171st Air Refueling Wing in Coraopolis PA. participated in a 5k fun "run/walk for respect" as part of the wing's Sexual Assault Prevention and Response down-day held at the base on Sunday, August 4th 2013. (U.S. Air National Guard Photo by Master Sgt. Stacey Barkey/Released)

More than 500 Pennsylvania Air National Guardsmen of the 171st Air Refueling Wing in Coraopolis PA. participated in a 5k fun "run/walk for respect" as part of the wing's Sexual Assault Prevention and Response down-day held at the base on Sunday, August 4th 2013. (U.S. Air National Guard Photo by Master Sgt. Stacey Barkey/Released)

Coraopolis, PA --      Sexual Assault Prevention & Response is a topic that is of importance DOD wide. All Air Force units must participate in Sexual Assault Prevention & Response Training. The most recent Sexual Assault Prevention & Response, or SAPR, training at the 171 ARW was held on Sunday, August 4th. The morning began with a 5k "fun run" that wound through the entire base. During the 5k, there were stations along the course that had educational pamphlets about Sexual Assault Prevention & Response.

    Each unit member also participated in mandatory SAPR training during the afternoon. The newly appointed 171 ARW wing commander, Col. Ted Metzgar addressed unit members in a commander's call, to iterate the importance of Sexual Assault Prevention & Response. After the commanders call squadrons were broken into smaller groups to have training on the subject. Training consisted of how each unit member can prevent sexual assaults by being a proactive bystander and intervene if they see a risky situation that could potentially end in a bad outcome. Training was also focused on sexual assault as a serious crime and the long term detriment it has on its victims and the unit mission. Each member left the training knowing who the Sexual Assault Response Coordinator is as well as who the Victim Advocates for the wing are. Sexual assault is a crime that leaves the victims scarred and living in fear; it is hoped that no one would be a victim of this terrible crime, especially when the perpetrator is a fellow service member. Major Dicie Hritz, 171st Sexual Assault Response Coordinator, summarizes the training by saying, "It is important for everyone wearing the uniform to know that sexual assault is a crime and will not be tolerated in our military, the well-being and care of our unit members is imperative to our mission."