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YOKOSUKA, Japan - Sailors aboard the U.S. Navy's forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) attended training Dec. 14 as part of a U.S. Pacific Fleet effort to "Stamp Out" sexual assault.
The mandatory training was kicked-off by Capt. G.J. Fenton, George Washington's commanding officer, addressing the entire crew and sharing his perceptions and expectations. This was followed by smaller breakout sessions with frank and honest discussions.
"Our goal is a culture free from sexual violence and its negative impact on our personnel and family members," said Fenton. "I expect all George Washington personnel to foster an environment of prevention, education and training, response capability, victim support, reporting procedures, and accountability that enhances the safety and well-being of all."
The training's general messaging recognized that most Sailors are doing the right things and should not accept bad behavior and poor decisions made by their shipmates that tarnish the image of the U.S. Navy.
"We have got to stop letting a few troublemakers define the rest of us by getting the upstanding majority of Sailors actively involved to prevent sexual assaults before they occur," said Adm. Cecil Haney, U.S. Pacific Fleet's commander, in a message to all of Pacific Fleet. "Not only is sexual assault a crime that is incompatible with our Navy core values, it also negatively impacts our most important mission of warfighting readiness."
The sessions also provided an opportunity for Sailors to learn from each other on a non-attribution basis.
"The training was very informative," said Logistics Specialist third class Justin Person a Sailor aboard George Washington. "We do these trainings because we are not just co-workers or shipmates but we are a team, a family and a unit. If one person is affected, we are all affected. Our professional and personnel lives are hindered because that person is someone's spouse or family member."