By Sgt. 1st Class Annette Simon, 402nd AFSB Public AffairsJanuary 31, 2014
CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait -- The 402nd Army Field Support Brigade held a Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention training session for brigade staff and subordinate units, Jan. 21.
As Col. James D. Kinkade, commander, 402nd AFSB, gave his opening remarks, he reiterated that SHARP is his top priority.
"We can't afford to wait for quarterly training. We need to have discussions like this all the time," he said.
Following Kinkade's remarks, A'Keta Vasser, sexual assault response coordinator for 402nd AFSB, spoke about the seriousness of the issue within the ranks and provided statistics from throughout the unit's footprint.
Capt. Jennifer Beerman, 1st Sustainment Command (Theater) trial counsel, shared what her role is as a prosecutor and also discussed the role of the special victim counselor.
"The goal is to make the process easier for victims with the hope that the program will help victims feel more comfortable in reporting sexual assaults," Beerman said.
Chaplain (Capt.) Michael Mackrell, operation chaplain, Army Central Command (Forward), said his role is to meet the victims where they are. As he shared his role with the SHARP program, he explained the acronym he operates by -- L.O.V.E.S., which means Listen, Observe, Validate, Empathize and Support.
"I have three daughters … when I see posters like this, I think of my own daughters. I wouldn't want this happening to them," Mackrell said.
1st Lt. Tashima McMurray, SHARP victim advocate and Staff Sgt. Desmond Porter, personnel noncommissioned officer, both from the 3rd Medical Command (Deployment Support), acted out a skit portraying how a sexual assault could happen within a military unit.
"The skit brought it home for me … the power, the intimidation, the physical contact and threats. I've experienced that as a third party, after which I suffered reprisal for stepping up," said Delbert Powell, 402nd AFSB safety manager.
When asked if he had to do it again, he said, "Yes, in a heartbeat!" He later said, "While being here in Kuwait, in the 402nd AFSB, this is the most focus I have seen on SHARP."