Ramstein hosts SAPR CLEAR challenge

Story and photos by Senior Airman Devin M. Rumbaugh
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

A member of the Kaiserslautern Military Community runs with a rucksack during the Courage, Leadership, Education, Advocacy and Respect challenge obstacle course April 20 on Ramstein Air Base. The rucksack signifies the burden a victim can feel during their journey to recovery.

U.S. Airmen and Soldiers from the Kaiserslautern Military Community participated in the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office’s CLEAR challenge in observance of Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month April 20 on Ramstein Air Base.

CLEAR, which stands for Courage, Leadership, Education, Advocacy and Respect, was designed to inform members of the effects sexual assault has on members, and how to support them on their way to recovery.

“About one-in-four women, and one-in-six men are affected by sexual violence,” Marianne Gustafson, 86th Airlift Wing Sexual Assault Response Coordinator. “This is something that is in plain sight, but it’s hidden. No one really knows the true impact sexual assault has on the community because we can’t see it. What’s important is that we realize it’s impact on our overall mission.”


The event included an obstacle course, bubble soccer, tug-of-war, writing letters to survivors, a silent walk, and a Humvee push.

“I think each year we learn a little bit more,” said Gustafson. “The first year we only the obstacle course. Now we have expanded and added so much. We really tried to make it a well-rounded event.

Leadership from Ramstein climbs an obstacle at the Courage, Leadership, Education, Advocacy and Respect challenge obstacle course April 20 on Ramstein Air Base. The wall climb challenge was to signify a victim’s recovery, showing how simple tasks can become difficult challenges they must climb over.

Members from the 21st Theater Sustainment Command, the Air Force Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment office, and the Sexual Assault and Prevention and Response office came together to host the event.

“This is all for the community coming together, that we can make change, that our culture can change,” said Gustafson. “We don’t have to accept sexual violence as part of our norms in our society. We can make a difference.”

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Justin Ward, 86th AW SAPR office victim advocate, said awareness is the biggest reason for this event. He said it’s something the SAPR office wants to remind people of throughout the year.

“People aren’t alone,” said Ward. “You’re surrounded by a community there to help. There’s so many people who can help.”

The event ended with approximately 28 teams of six members participating, over 70 volunteers, and close to 100 spectators.

“The event was beautiful,” said Gustafson. “It was a great day. We had great weather, people had a lot of energy, everyone was excited to be here. I actually just heard a participant who didn’t know the answer to a question, and that was the point of this. So everyone in the KMC knows who to reach out to.”

Members of the Kaiserslautern Military Community listen as U.S. Air Force Col. Joseph Wenckus, 86th Airlift Wing vice commander, gives opening remarks for the Courage, Leadership, Education, Advocacy and Respect challenge April 20 on Ramstein Air Base. Leadership from Ramstein ran through the course before the event officially kicked off.
Members of the Kaiserslautern Military Community play bubble soccer during the Courage, Leadership, Education, Advocacy and Respect challenge April 20 on Ramstein Air Base. The CLEAR challenge is held annually in observance of April being Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention month.
Airmen assigned to the 86th Comptroller Squadron play tug-of-war during the Courage, Leadership, Education, Advocacy and Respect challenge April 20 on Ramstein Air Base. The event involved close to 500 people participating, volunteering, or spectating.