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Teal Team 6 inducted, charged with special mission

U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Andrew Clark, 380th Air Expeditionary Wing commander, administers an oath to the Teal Team 6 (TT6) volunteer members during the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR), TT6 induction ceremony at Al Dhafra Air Base (ADAB) United Arab Emirates, June 18, 2021. TT6 members, take an oath to uphold a code of ethics, promote mutual respect, to support others and promise to improve the culture around them.

U.S. Service members from Al Dhafra Air Base (ADAB), United Arab Emirates, take a group photo after the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR), Teal Team 6 (TT6) induction ceremony on, June 18, 2021. TT6 members, take an oath to uphold a code of ethics, promote mutual respect, to support others and promise to improve the culture around them. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Wolfram M. Stumpf)

U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Andrew Clark, 380th Air Expeditionary Wing commander, administers an oath to the Teal Team 6 (TT6) volunteer members during the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR), TT6 induction ceremony at Al Dhafra Air Base (ADAB) United Arab Emirates, June 18, 2021. TT6 members, take an oath to uphold a code of ethics, promote mutual respect, to support others and promise to improve the culture around them.

U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Andrew Clark, 380th Air Expeditionary Wing commander, administers an oath to the Teal Team 6 (TT6) volunteer members during the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR), TT6 induction ceremony at Al Dhafra Air Base (ADAB) United Arab Emirates, June 18, 2021. TT6 members, take an oath to uphold a code of ethics, promote mutual respect, to support others and promise to improve the culture around them. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Wolfram M. Stumpf)

U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Andrew Clark, 380th Air Expeditionary Wing commander, administers an oath to the Teal Team 6 (TT6) volunteer members during the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR), TT6 induction ceremony at Al Dhafra Air Base (ADAB) United Arab Emirates, June 18, 2021. TT6 members, take an oath to uphold a code of ethics, promote mutual respect, to support others and promise to improve the culture around them.

U.S. Air Force Capt. Emma Wahlig, 380th Air Expeditionary Wing, sexual assault response coordinator, gives directions to the Teal Team 6 (TT6) volunteers, before their induction ceremony, at Al Dhafra Air Base (ADAB) United Arab Emirates, June 18, 2021. TT6 members, take an oath to uphold a code of ethics, promote mutual respect, to support others and promise to improve the culture around them. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Wolfram M. Stumpf)

U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Andrew Clark, 380th Air Expeditionary Wing commander, administers an oath to the Teal Team 6 (TT6) volunteer members during the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR), TT6 induction ceremony at Al Dhafra Air Base (ADAB) United Arab Emirates, June 18, 2021. TT6 members, take an oath to uphold a code of ethics, promote mutual respect, to support others and promise to improve the culture around them.

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jao’Torey Johnson, 380th Air Expeditionary Wing public affairs specialist and volunteer victim advocate, hands Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) pins to volunteer members, before the Teal Team 6 (TT6) induction ceremony, at Al Dhafra Air Base (ADAB) United Arab Emirates, June 18, 2021. TT6 members, take an oath to uphold a code of ethics, promote mutual respect, to support others and promise to improve the culture around them. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Wolfram M. Stumpf)

U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Andrew Clark, 380th Air Expeditionary Wing commander, administers an oath to the Teal Team 6 (TT6) volunteer members during the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR), TT6 induction ceremony at Al Dhafra Air Base (ADAB) United Arab Emirates, June 18, 2021. TT6 members, take an oath to uphold a code of ethics, promote mutual respect, to support others and promise to improve the culture around them.

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Mayra Mendez, and Tech Sgt. Keonda Maxwell, 380th Expeditionary Force Support Squadron, pose together after Maxwell’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR), TT6 induction ceremony at Al Dhafra Air Base (ADAB) United Arab Emirates, June 18, 2021. TT6 members, take an oath to uphold a code of ethics, promote mutual respect, to support others and promise to improve the culture around them. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Wolfram M. Stumpf)

U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Andrew Clark, 380th Air Expeditionary Wing commander, administers an oath to the Teal Team 6 (TT6) volunteer members during the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR), TT6 induction ceremony at Al Dhafra Air Base (ADAB) United Arab Emirates, June 18, 2021. TT6 members, take an oath to uphold a code of ethics, promote mutual respect, to support others and promise to improve the culture around them.

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Alyssa Joesph, 380th Expeditionary Operation Support Squadron and Teal Team 6 (TT6) volunteer, helps pin on fellow TT6 volunteer, Senior Airman Evan Gonzales, 380th Air Expeditionary Wing, Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR), pin during the TT6 induction ceremony at Al Dhafra Air Base (ADAB) United Arab Emirates, June 18, 2021. TT6 members, take an oath to uphold a code of ethics, promote mutual respect, to support others and promise to improve the culture around them. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Wolfram M. Stumpf)

U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Andrew Clark, 380th Air Expeditionary Wing commander, administers an oath to the Teal Team 6 (TT6) volunteer members during the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR), TT6 induction ceremony at Al Dhafra Air Base (ADAB) United Arab Emirates, June 18, 2021. TT6 members, take an oath to uphold a code of ethics, promote mutual respect, to support others and promise to improve the culture around them.

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Karen Rodabaugh, 380th Air Expeditionary Wing executive assistant and Teal Team 6 (TT6) volunteer, helps pin on fellow TT6 volunteer, Tech Sgt. Marie Madera, 46th Expeditionary Attack Squadron, Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR), pin during the TT6 induction ceremony at Al Dhafra Air Base (ADAB) United Arab Emirates, June 18, 2021. TT6 members, take an oath to uphold a code of ethics, promote mutual respect, to support others and promise to improve the culture around them. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Wolfram M. Stumpf)

U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Andrew Clark, 380th Air Expeditionary Wing commander, administers an oath to the Teal Team 6 (TT6) volunteer members during the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR), TT6 induction ceremony at Al Dhafra Air Base (ADAB) United Arab Emirates, June 18, 2021. TT6 members, take an oath to uphold a code of ethics, promote mutual respect, to support others and promise to improve the culture around them.

U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Andrew Clark, 380th Air Expeditionary Wing commander, administers an oath to the Teal Team 6 (TT6) volunteer members during the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR), TT6 induction ceremony at Al Dhafra Air Base (ADAB) United Arab Emirates, June 18, 2021. TT6 members, take an oath to uphold a code of ethics, promote mutual respect, to support others and promise to improve the culture around them. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Wolfram M. Stumpf)

U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Andrew Clark, 380th Air Expeditionary Wing commander, administers an oath to the Teal Team 6 (TT6) volunteer members during the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR), TT6 induction ceremony at Al Dhafra Air Base (ADAB) United Arab Emirates, June 18, 2021. TT6 members, take an oath to uphold a code of ethics, promote mutual respect, to support others and promise to improve the culture around them.

U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Andrew Clark, 380th Air Expeditionary Wing commander, administers an oath to the Teal Team 6 (TT6) volunteer members during the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR), TT6 induction ceremony at Al Dhafra Air Base (ADAB) United Arab Emirates, June 18, 2021. TT6 members, take an oath to uphold a code of ethics, promote mutual respect, to support others and promise to improve the culture around them. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Wolfram M. Stumpf)

U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Andrew Clark, 380th Air Expeditionary Wing commander, administers an oath to the Teal Team 6 (TT6) volunteer members during the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR), TT6 induction ceremony at Al Dhafra Air Base (ADAB) United Arab Emirates, June 18, 2021. TT6 members, take an oath to uphold a code of ethics, promote mutual respect, to support others and promise to improve the culture around them.
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U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Renee Wu, 380th Expeditionary Medical Group and Teal Team 6 (TT6) volunteer, listens to Brig. Gen. Andrew Clark, 380th Air Expeditionary Wing commander, during the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR), TT6 induction ceremony at Al Dhafra Air Base (ADAB) United Arab Emirates, June 18, 2021. TT6 members, take an oath to uphold a code of ethics, promote mutual respect, to support others and promise to improve the culture around them. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Wolfram M. Stumpf)

U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Andrew Clark, 380th Air Expeditionary Wing commander, administers an oath to the Teal Team 6 (TT6) volunteer members during the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR), TT6 induction ceremony at Al Dhafra Air Base (ADAB) United Arab Emirates, June 18, 2021. TT6 members, take an oath to uphold a code of ethics, promote mutual respect, to support others and promise to improve the culture around them.
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U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Karen Rodabaugh, 380th Air Expeditionary Wing executive assistant and Teal Team 6 (TT6) volunteer, listens to Brig. Gen. Andrew Clark, 380th Air Expeditionary Wing commander, during the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR), TT6 induction ceremony at Al Dhafra Air Base (ADAB) United Arab Emirates, June 18, 2021. TT6 members, take an oath to uphold a code of ethics, promote mutual respect, to support others and promise to improve the culture around them. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Wolfram M. Stumpf)

U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Andrew Clark, 380th Air Expeditionary Wing commander, administers an oath to the Teal Team 6 (TT6) volunteer members during the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR), TT6 induction ceremony at Al Dhafra Air Base (ADAB) United Arab Emirates, June 18, 2021. TT6 members, take an oath to uphold a code of ethics, promote mutual respect, to support others and promise to improve the culture around them.
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U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Andrew Clark, 380th Air Expeditionary Wing commander, gives a statement during the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR), Teal Team 6 induction ceremony at Al Dhafra Air Base (ADAB) United Arab Emirates, June 18, 2021. Teal Team 6 members, take an oath to uphold a code of ethics, promote mutual respect, to support others and promise to improve the culture around them. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Wolfram M. Stumpf)

U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Andrew Clark, 380th Air Expeditionary Wing commander, administers an oath to the Teal Team 6 (TT6) volunteer members during the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR), TT6 induction ceremony at Al Dhafra Air Base (ADAB) United Arab Emirates, June 18, 2021. TT6 members, take an oath to uphold a code of ethics, promote mutual respect, to support others and promise to improve the culture around them.
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U.S. Air Force Capt. Emma Wahlig, 380th Air Expeditionary Wing, sexual assault response coordinator, gives opening remarks during the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR), Teal Team 6 (TT6) induction ceremony at Al Dhafra Air Base (ADAB) United Arab Emirates, June 18, 2021. TT6 members, take an oath to uphold a code of ethics, promote mutual respect, to support others and promise to improve the culture around them. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Wolfram M. Stumpf)

AL DHAFRA AIR BASE, United Arab Emirates --

Twenty-nine U.S. Air Force and Army members took an oath to serve on the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing’s newest Teal Team 6 at Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates, June 18, 2021.

This initiative is part of a DoD-wide effort to develop and implement proactive strategies to create a respectful culture and prevent and reduce incidents of sexual assault and sexual harassment, explained Capt. Emma Wahlig, sexual assault response coordinator, 380 AEW.

“As the United States Air Force, or any fighting service, we cannot afford to allow people to treat each other poorly, because at a very high level it degrades combat capability,” said Brig. Gen. Andrew Clark, commander, 380 AEW. “Anything that distracts people from doing their job, degrades our ability to do the mission.”

There’s still a problem and computer-based training and mandatory briefings are not working, Clark said. “The problem is we’re not dealing with it at the core, the root of it.”

Airmen are at the root of the problem, and Airmen need to be at the root of the solution, which is where the conception of Teal Team 6 began.

“What we have to do is create a culture where any form of disrespect is not tolerated, and that starts with Airmen,” Clark said.

Members from around the wing, men and women of diverse rank and background were eager to apply for a spot on the team, said Wahlig.

“They have all showed impressive determination, passion and motivation to become Teal Team 6 representatives,” she said.

The 29 Airmen and Soldiers who accomplished the required training and outreach requirements, developed the meaning behind their name. Teal stands for Together, Enhancing, Advocating and Leading, and the 6 represents the six pillars of courage, awareness, respect, empathy, responsibility and support, Wahlig explained.

“The members are eager to get out into their respective units to start those difficult conversations in creating cultural change,” she said.

Not only will Teal Team 6 members model positive behavior and police peers for inappropriate conduct, they are also trained to bridge the gap between members and the dedicated care team providers (Sexual Assault Prevention & Response, Equal Opportunity, and the chaplain and mental health teams) and steer them to the appropriate helping agency when there is a need, Wahlig explained.

Clark expects the Teal Team 6 to take care of their fellow Airmen and Soldiers and inculcate the culture necessary to succeed.

“You call people out when it happens, you talk to supervisors, you’re going to make this visible, and then you’re going to take care of those Airmen that it affects,” he said. “You’re gonna get them back in the fight as soon as you can.”

This peer response team has a very important purpose, and may deal with some heavy topics, Wahlig said, but they are up for the challenge.

“I’m proud of each of you for stepping up to the table and doing something different,” Clark said, “something I think will actually fix this problem and bring our wing and the Air Force back to a place where these things will no longer be able to distract us from doing our job.”