May 2 (UPI) -- The U.S. Air Force said it received 1,355 reports of sexual assault in 2016, an increase of less than 1 percent from 2015.
In its annual sexual assault report, which includes active duty, Air Force Reserve, Air National Guard and civilian employees, the Air Force said 0.21 percent of service members reported a sexual assault in 2016, compared to 0.20 percent in 2015 and 0.21 percent in 2014.
The Air Force received 1,312 sexual assault reports in 2015.
"We must continue to drive a culture of prevention while ensuring victims readily come forward and report sexual assault," Acting Secretary of the Air Force Lisa Disbrow said in a statement on Monday. "We must also be an Air Force that provides the care and support victims need while holding offenders accountable."
The Air Force will later use the Defense Manpower Data Center's 2016 Workplace and Gender Relations Survey, authorized under the Office of the Secretary of Defense, to determine prevalence of sexual assault in the military branch.
The Air Force said it compares prevalence rates to reporting rates to evaluate the confidence service members have in coming forward to report sexual assault and receive support from authorities.
Col. Mark Ramsey, the Air Force sexual assault prevention and response operations director, said the Air Force wants to eliminate the gap between prevalence of the crime and the number of reports received.
"Our goal is to eliminate sexual assault from the Air Force, period," Ramsey said.
In March, the Department of Defense said sexual assaults increased at the Naval Academy and the Military Academy at West Point, while sexual misconduct increased in all academies including the Air Force Academy last year.