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New Sexual Assault Response Coordinator strengthens force through past service

The 118th Wing welcomed a new coordinator to help victims of sexual assault seek the help they need on Sept. 1, 2018 at Berry Field Air National Guard Base, Nashville, Tennessee.

The 118th Wing welcomed a new coordinator to help victims of sexual assault seek the help they need on Sept. 1, 2018 at Berry Field Air National Guard Base, Nashville, Tennessee.

Nashville, Tennessee --

The 118th Wing welcomed a new coordinator to help victims of sexual assault seek the help they need on Sept. 1, 2018 at Berry Field Air National Guard Base, Nashville, Tennessee.

Retired Maj. Heidi Jenkins, formerly the 118th Force Support Squadron commander assumed the role of sexual assault response coordinator after serving nearly 32 years in the Air National Guard.

The SARC serves as the wing’s primary point of contact for coordinating sexual assault victim care for eligible recipients. Services may begin at the initial report of sexual assault and continue through disposition and resolution of issues.

”They created the program specifically as a means for somebody to come and get help if they’ve been assaulted and have options to file a report,” said Jenkins. “And to get the mental health care or physical care or for somebody to listen.”

Jenkins’ key focus is to inform Airmen of their options when reporting a sexual assault event.

“I want them to know the difference between a restricted and unrestricted [report],” said Jenkins. “It’s really easy. Both can get you the care that you need, but unrestricted involves an investigation. Restricted restricts information.”

“I also want [Airmen] to be aware,” said Jenkins. “If they see something that’s not quite right or something that can harm one of their fellow Airmen, step up and say something about it.”

In addition to serving as the 118th FSS commander, Jenkins served in numerous positions prior to taking on this role including aeromedical, public affairs, equal employment, and intelligence. She sees her vast experience as preparation for her current tasking.

“Every bit of time that I’ve spent deployed, not deployed, at headquarters, or here at the wing, it makes me realize how important the people that I work with are and the need to take care of each other is,” said Jenkins. “We’re only as good as our people.”

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