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NAVCENT and NSA Bahrain Observe Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Mark Meredith, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command Public Affairs | April 30, 2018

MANAMA, Bahrain --

Throughout the month of April, Sailors assigned to U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) raised awareness for Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month (SAAPM) with various events and functions onboard Naval Support Activity (NSA) Bahrain.

The month of events kicked off with the Clothesline Project April 8, with Sailors from around base coming to the Liberty Center to design t-shirts depicting various messages supporting Sailors who are survivors of sexual assault and condemning sexual assault.

“I can’t think of a better example of Sailors helping Sailors than what services our sexual assault prevention and response (SAPR) victim advocates provide for victims of sexual assault,” said Chief Personnel Specialist Gary Bosdock, NAVCENT’s deputy sexual assault prevention and response officer (SAPRO), who was involved in organizing many of the events.

NAVCENT Sailors also participated in a 5k run and proclamation signing April 12, sponsored by Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR). Vice Adm. John Aquilino, NAVCENT commander, spoke during a SAAPM proclamation signing, where Sailors unveiled the Teal Boot Exhibit.

In addition, NAVCENT Sailors assisted in MWR’s weekly Bingo Night April 18, decorating tables with teal tablecloths and teal banners, as well as manning a table for the Fleet and Family Support Program.

“Our efforts continue throughout the year,” said Cmdr. Sarah De Groot, NAVCENT SAPRO, “but we use this one month to draw attention to sexual assault prevention.”

De Groot serves as a resource for commands within the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations, helping coordinate SAPR and ethics training.

To cap off a month of SAPR awareness, Rear Adm. Paul Schlise, deputy commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, and Fleet Master Chief Russell Mason helped judge a chili cook-off where Sailors and Marines from around NSA Bahrain brought dishes for their shipmates to try. A resource booth was set up to help raise awareness and empower Sailors to report assaults.

U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations encompasses about 2.5 million square miles of water area and includes the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea and parts of the Indian Ocean. The expanse comprises 20 countries and includes three critical choke points at the Strait of Hormuz, the Suez Canal and the Strait of Bab al Mandeb at the southern tip of Yemen.