Air Force seeks 'fun, humorous' sex assault seminars

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Politics,Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets

The Air Force, in the middle of a huge sexual assault scandal that Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Walsh called a "cancer," is going the light-hearted route at one of its biggest bases in the service's campaign to raise awareness of sexual assault, including date rape.

Officials at Kadena Air Base in Japan, home to 18,000 Americans and the Air Force's largest combat wing, are seeking "sex signals" speakers to help train more than 1,000 service members on sexual assault during Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

The contract proposal for three 90-minute sessions indicates that the instructors will teach the troops how to identify sexual assault in ordinary life, with a focus on "realities of friendship/date rape," "unrealistic fantasies," and why sexual assaults are crimes.

The contract also demands that troops "be entertained and educated in a fun and humorous way."

The "sex signals" program, used by colleges, the military and corporations, features performers acting out scenes that could lead to sexual assault or intercourse. In interviews promoting the program, troops have said that they like it better than staid PowerPoint presentations.

The contract comes as the Air Force is investigating alleged sexual assaults at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. At a hearing this year, Welsh revealed that reports of sexual assaults in the Air Force jumped 30 percent last year, to 796. The Pentagon said there were 3,192 instances of sexual assault in 2011.