• Published
  • By Story by Senior Airman Madison Knabe
  • 128th Air Refueling Wing

MILWAUKEE, – The Sexual Assault Response and Prevention team is launching 2021’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month campaign at the 128th Air Refueling Wing, Wisconsin Air National Guard.

The campaign will run all month, although the 128 ARW recognizes the severity of the issue year-round and continually works to eliminate sexual assault from its force. Jamie Reidy, the 128th Sexual Assault Response Coordinator, meets regularly with the Chaplain Corps, the director of Psychological Health, and wing leadership to aggregate information before presenting it to higher leadership and Wisconsin’s Adjutant General.

“We meet monthly to discuss survivor numbers, prevention strategies, and our progress in the quest to eliminate sexual assault,” said Reidy. “Although we meet monthly, the 128th fights against sexual assault each and every day.”

The military recognizes the dual nature of the Guard, providing its resources to citizen-soldiers while on and off duty. “Contractors, civilians, military members, and even family members all have access to the resources that we provide,” said Kami Ward, 128th Director of Psychological Health. “We’re always available for our Airmen whenever they need us.”

The National Guard Bureau’s Office of Complex Investigations began an assessment in April 2019 about the potential mishandling of sexual assault cases in the Wisconsin National Guard in the past. Derived from OCI’s recommendations, Wisconsin’s new plan calls for strict guidance ensuring proper reporting, investigation, accountability, and support for survivors.

“We have a zero-tolerance policy throughout the Air Force, and ending sexual assault in the military takes more than just attending the annual training. It can’t be just brushed over and each member has to take it seriously,” said Tech. Sgt. Abigail Luty, a religious affairs Airman at the 128 ARW. “I have hope and faith that the new leadership our base has will help to make sure Airmen are safe and taken care of.”

Reidy says fewer cases have been reported this year than in the past. “Although this is an improvement, the Wisconsin Guard maintains the goal of completely eliminating sexual assault.”