Nellis Air Force Base has established a Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) that includes commander participation from offices of the Staff Judge Advocate (SJA), Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI), Security Forces, Chaplain, and Mental Health.
The goal of the Nellis Air Force Base SART is to develop linkages on base that will enable service providers to deliver full support for sexual assault victims.
Making the Idea a Reality
Nellis Air Force Base's Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC) met with all command chiefs. The command chiefs invited the SARC to monthly dorm council meetings to review problems and successes in the dorms regarding deterrence of sexual assault. The command chiefs also invited the SARC to the First Sergeants Council, a monthly forum at which victim response, training issues, or unit-related problems are discussed and resolved. In addition, the SARC was invited to
- Airmen Committed to Excellence (ACE) meetings to garner support for the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office's educational programs and to solicit high-caliber volunteers.
- Professional Development Center meetings to educate newcomers, such as students in the First Term Airman Course (FTAC).
Through these networking and communication opportunities, the SARC has apprised commanders of the latest program information and alerted them to locations that are or may become high-risk areas. The SARC relies on the Staff Judge Advocate office for assistance with any questions or concerns.
Benefits to Victims
Victims benefit from having leaders who know how to prevent or respond to sexual assault. For example, after a newcomer to the FTAC was educated by a representative of the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office, she confided to her instructors that she thought a former boyfriend from her previous base was stalking her. The Command career counselor contacted the SARC, who brought the stalking incident to the wing's attention. Security forces were put on alert to keep the offender from entering Nellis and the victim received continued support.
The Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Committee members address issues through various means to help victims. For example, the committee has developed "How to Report" fliers that are placed inside of every dorm room on base. The Command Chief of one of the installation's wings paid for permanent plastic placard holders for nearly 1,000 rooms from his wing's budget. The installation's host wing Command Chief donated funds to cover the flier's copying costs. The Command Chief of another wing agreed to distribute the fliers and host training at top-secret, geographically separated units that were not accessible to the SARC. Finally, Nellis trained three self-defense instructors and holds monthly self-defense trainings for women.
Benefits to Victim Service Professionals
Team members stress the importance of referring victims to a competent SARC, who, in turn, will refer victims to other service providers such as mental health staff, chaplains, or AFOSI agents.
Various committee members have stated that the SARC has effectively responded to victims and that the SARC's leadership has ensured that Nellis Air Force Base offers useful resources.
The SARC stresses the need to show appreciation to advocates, committee members, and community members who collaborate with the SART.
Nellis Air Force Base
Nellis AFB, Nevada