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Vandenberg to host SAPR Stand-Down, Wingman Day

This graphic represents the four pillars of Comprehensive Airmen Fitness: mental, social, physical and spiritual fitness. The goal of the upcoming Wingman Day is to foster unit cohesion and resiliency through the application of these ideals. (U.S. Air Force Courtesy graphic/Released)

This graphic represents the four pillars of Comprehensive Airmen Fitness: mental, social, physical and spiritual fitness. The goal of the upcoming Wingman Day is to foster unit cohesion and resiliency through the application of these ideals. (U.S. Air Force Courtesy graphic/Released)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- VAFB is slated to host a Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Stand-Down Day in conjunction with Spring 2014 Wingman Day, here May 21.

The day is scheduled to begin with discussions emphasizing the prevention of, and response to, inappropriate sexual conduct and will transition into Wingman Day activities, focused on bolstering the Comprehensive Airman Fitness four pillars of wellness.

"Discussions this year will focus on detecting offenders," said Capt. Katelyn Fabbri, 30th Space Wing alternate sexual assault response coordinator. "Small groups will also take time to recognize the cultures and climates in which perpetrators are allowed to thrive, and subsequently identify the necessary steps that we, as an Air Force, must take in order to eradicate this deplorable behavior."

For Fabbri, the day provides an opportunity for open discussions while giving leaders a platform to condemn inappropriate conduct.

"As members of the armed forces, we have sworn to uphold the Constitution of the United States against all enemies both foreign and domestic," said Fabbri. "These perpetrators of sexual assault are just that, domestic enemies who have infiltrated our Air Force family and threaten our fellow Airmen. Thus it is important, not only for wing-level leaders, but leaders at all levels to address the topic of sexual assault prevention. Sexual assault does not discriminate against age, race, gender, sexual orientation, rank or any other factor. This is not the problem of (individuals). We own this problem as a whole - and together we will solve it."

Top wing leadership agrees it's essential to address the Air Force's current "zero tolerance" stance on sexual assault and harassment.

"Sexual assault and sexual harassment are simply unacceptable," said Col. Brent McArthur, 30th SW vice commander. "The SAPR Down-Day provides all Airmen an opportunity to reflect on our behavior and ensure we are doing everything we can to live our core-values. It is essential to make time to focus on how we can continuously improve the Air Force culture and remind everyone we will not tolerate inappropriate conduct, on or off duty."

Following the SAPR portion of the day, Wingman Day aims to strengthen the four pillars of Comprehensive Airman Fitness - physical, social, mental and spiritual.

"Wingman Day offers a break in the day-to-day activities in order to reinforce the wingman concept and focus on unit wellness," said Pauline Chui, 30th SW community support coordinator. "Our theme for Spring 2014 Wingman Day is 'Learning to Thrive in Any Environment.' Our focus is distance learning. Airmen will have the opportunity to break into small groups where they will take online classes that are based on the four pillars of Comprehensive Airman Fitness. Questions are provided to guide group discussion and groups will participate with other groups around the base."

The wing commander also understands the importance of stopping to reflect on how to further enhance camaraderie and unit cohesion.

"As the wing gathers, I encourage you to relax your focus on your day-to-day duties, and let your attention shift to those around you and on your personal priorities," said Col. Keith Balts, 30th SW commander. "Take (the day) as an opportunity to rejuvenate the skills necessary to tackle our responsibilities, as supervisors and as wingmen, to protect and ensure the wellbeing of our collective 'band of brothers'. I hope, through Wingman Day activities and subsequent discussions, you realize your potential to be influential - and harness that potential to foster a professional environment free of negative distractors."

In addition to this Wingman Day's theme of 'Learning to Thrive in Any Environment' the days' activities are structured using a format developed at Vandenberg, known as Wingman University.

"Part of being resilient requires one to be aware and act in accordance with one's values," explained Chui. "Having Wingman University classes after the SAPR portion of the day allows members to focus on their own values as well as the Air Force core-values that we all have in common. It allows for some self-reflection and re-affirmation to Integrity, Service before self and Excellence in all we do."

With military lifestyles often posing unique challenges, cultivating an atmosphere of positive support is a top priority for the Air Force.

"While Wingman Day happens just twice a year, it reemphasizes the wingman concept - a culture of Airmen taking care of our fellow Airmen 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year," said Balts. "We all go through challenging times in our lives and no one should go through those challenges alone. (The day's) activities are meant to ensure we have the tools and knowledge to get through them together."

To contact the SAPR office, dial 805-606-7272 or the Special Victims' Counsel at 805-605-0626.