The Bayonet

Wednesday, Mar. 26, 2014

Around the Army

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Course bolsters effort to eliminate sexual assault

FORT BELVOIR, Va. - "The Army still struggles with sexual assault and harassment. We're trying to get the processes and training in place so people realize we won't tolerate this," said the Army's chief of staff.

"I want to thank you for your passion and capability in helping us with this problem," Gen. Ray Odierno told some 30 graduates of the first Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention School House pilot program, today.

Soldiers should feel comfortable at work and not have to worry about sexual harassment, he told the graduates, which included several Army civilian employees along with military unit representatives. The students are serving across the Army as sexual assault response coordinators, or SARCs, and victim advocates, known as VAs.

But "the Army is an imperfect world. Over the long term, the Army is going to have to sustain and use your expertise," Odierno said. He added the Army intends to continue providing formalized training now that the pilot is finished.

The students' two months of study included training on resiliency, signs of prejudice and discrimination, how to establish a culture of prevention within a command, investigative and legal processes, ethics and victim healthcare management.

Graduates will return to their commands where they will instruct others and assist the commander in SHARP training.

Odierno spent about an hour with the Soldiers at their graduation ceremony, soliciting feedback and recommendations - and they were not shy in providing it to him. While some Soldiers said their commanders fully supported them, others said "they just didn't get it" and that it's an "attitude problem."

"We need to hold people accountable, not just those who committed the crime, but those who do not create (an) environment (of trust). That's one of the things we have to work on. That's one of the things I have to work on," he said.

Smarter software for air, missile defense planned

WASHINGTON - When a missile is launched against an enemy target, it would be nice to have a lot of good information about that target.

But when "decision makers push the fire button, they may have very little data, and sometimes not timely enough data," said Col. Rob Rasch Jr., project manager, Integrated Air and Missile Defense Project Office, or IAMD, at Redstone Arsenal, Ala.

"Nowhere in the current Army architecture is there a way to share information from all of our various sensors and weapons to have better integrated coverage," he pointed out, referring to situational awareness for those operating Patriot and other missile defense systems like those used for short-range air defense.

Rasch spoke at the Pentagon, during a IAMD immersion event this week, which featured tours and static displays.

His team is working hard with industry to improve the battlefield site picture and the key to doing that, he said, is user-friendly software that Soldiers refer to as the "common warfighter machine interface to the integrated air and missile defense battle command system."

That software will be easier to use and as the name suggests, will provide a common interface for users, he said.

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