Air Force officials name SARC of the year
WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- An Air Force captain earned the service's 2015 Exceptional Sexual Assault Response Coordinator Award during a ceremony April 28 at the Pentagon.
Capt. Elizabeth Belleau, a behavioral scientist, earned the award for her work both as the SARC at Kadena Air Base, Japan, and while deployed as the SARC for the 435th Air Expeditionary Wing, U.S. Africa Command.
"We have a lot of SARCs doing amazing things to support our Air Force family, but Elizabeth's dedication to the Airmen she serves and her consistent record of innovation to improve victim services made her the clear choice for this recognition," said Maj. Gen. James Johnson, the director of the Air Force Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) Office.
The award recognizes the Air Force SARC whose work has been particularly noteworthy and demonstrates outstanding service in support of service members.
As the only deployed SARC within AFRICOM, Belleau led 42 victim advocates at 15 geographically separated operating locations, to support more than 7,000 joint force service members. She established evacuation procedures from locations that lacked a certified provider for victims in need of forensic exams.
Belleau also adapted provider pre-deployment training requirements while deployed, limiting the medical airlift need for sexual assault victims, saving evacuation costs, preserving forensic evidence, and improving victim care.
While at Kadena AB, Belleau led 68 victim advocates, serving 35,000 Airmen. She created new sexual assault prevention and response initiatives specific to Kadena AB that affected the entire community.
Her efforts led to a SAPR prevention summit, two leadership panels, a photo campaign, quarterly combat Airman fitness events, quarterly victim advocate performance awards, and quarterly outreach events for Airmen housed on the base.
"Elizabeth and the Airmen she leads perform a valuable role in keeping our Airmen ready to fly, fight and win," Johnson said. "Leaders and innovators like her shape the future of our force and develop the teamwork that enables us to succeed."