PENSACOLA, Fla. -- Information Warfare Training Command (IWTC) Corry Station conducted a command-wide Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) stand down, May 21.
The stand down addressed the SPAR program refresher training and discussed serious and destructive issues that need to be understood and confronted by all Sailors.
SAPR training kicked off with a speech from IWTC Corry Station’s Commanding Officer Cmdr. Zachary Mckeehan, outlining the commitment to be more proactive in prevention efforts.
“I scheduled today as a non-training day to put aside academic studies and tests, and I dedicated this time as a way for every one of us at IWTC Corry Station to underscore our enduring commitment to promote a culture of dignity and respect, free from sexual assault,” said McKeehan. “While both the prevention and response aspects of the SAPR program are critical, we must do better and commit to be more proactive in our prevention efforts - making certain model behaviors across all ranks that reflect our core values. A commitment to our shipmates who are affected by sexual assault, ensuring that their safety and privacy are of utmost importance and a commitment that they will never stand alone to face the devastating aftermath of an assault."
IWTC Corry Station conducted the SAPR training in group discussion forum, with the appropriate COVID-19 mitigations, led in collaboration with IWTC Corry Station chief petty officer and leading petty officer facilitators. They emphasized expectations of healthy environment free from inappropriate behavior, sexual harassment, and sexual assault. Discussions focused on identifying these issues and available support in response to these harmful behaviors.
“Training provided a great environment for staff to interface with students that they might not communicate with on a daily basis to discuss a sensitive subject in an open-forum,” said Chief Cryptographic Technician (Technical) Joseph Stevenson, instructor at IWTC Corry Station. “Having a command-wide open training shows staff is awareness and understanding of the information.”
The stand down was an opportunity for the entire IWTC Corry Station team to listen, learn and raise awareness. Multimedia recordings from personnel who shared their individual accounts of assaults and the destructive aftermath brought the message closer home to the Sailors attending the stand down.
“The stand down was very educational and enlightening,” said Seaman Recruit Elias Nina, a student at IWTC Corry Station. “The multimedia recording brought the reality of the issue to the event, making the message more relevant to everyday Navy life.”
"The issues discussed were beneficial but difficult to talk with leadership since I’m new to the command," said Seaman Myle Pyrtle, a student at IWTC Corry Station. “This stand down left me feeling more comfortable and less afraid to deal with sexual assault or harassment issues. I am now aware that the Navy will take care of anyone facing these difficult situations.”
McKeehan concluded his message by reminding Sailors, "promoting a healthy, inclusive, and respectful culture is key to advancing the readiness of each of our valued team members." Encouraging the optimal support of the SAPR program and “say or do something when you see situations that put our Sailors at risk for destructive outcomes.”
IWTC Corry Station, as part of the Center for Information Warfare Training (CIWT), provides a continuum of training to Navy and joint service personnel that prepares them to conduct information warfare across the full spectrum of military operations.
With four schoolhouse commands, a detachment, and training sites throughout the United States and Japan, CIWT trains approximately 26,000 students every year, delivering trained information warfare professionals to the Navy and joint services. CIWT also offers more than 200 courses for cryptologic technicians, intelligence specialists, information systems technicians, electronics technicians, and officers in the information warfare community.
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