386th AEW rolls out Faith Works, boosts spiritual fitness

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Jonathan Hehnly
  • 386th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs
The 386th Air Expeditionary Wing hosted the first Faith Works leadership forum in the U.S. Air Forces Central Command area of responsibility, at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia, May 4, 2017.

The leadership luncheon encouraged the 386th AEW commanders, chiefs, superintendents and first sergeants to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for how faith can improve the everyday lives of Airmen, increase resiliency and contribute to mission effectiveness. Chaplain (Col.) Randy Kitchens, the AFCENT command chaplain, was invited as the keynote speaker for the rollout of the Air Force Chaplain Corps Faith Works campaign to the 386th AEW leadership.

“When we talk about spiritual resiliency, it is really not talking about religion as much as it is about faith, and if you define that faith as those core beliefs that guide you throughout your day,” Kitchens said.

The Air Force Chaplain Corps recently launched its Faith Works campaign to inform Airmen about the overwhelming evidence regarding the positive relationship between spirituality, religion and health, and to encourage Air Force leaders to see faith as a resource.

The research behind Faith Works suggests that spirituality and religion play an important role in improving health in every domain of Comprehensive Airman Fitness.

Spiritual fitness benefits both Airmen and the mission by giving commanders more of what they want for their Airmen such as healthier relationships, coping skills and resilience. It also lessens what they don’t want, such as sexual assaults, domestic violence and suicides, according to Chaplain (Maj. Gen.) Dondi E. Costin, the Air Force chief of chaplains.

“Faith Works is good for all,” Kitchens said . “It’s facilitating the freedom of religion and in doing so, that will help the Air Force fly, fight and win.”

The domain of spiritual fitness is defined as the ability to adhere to beliefs, principles or values needed to persevere and prevail in accomplishing missions.

Five Airmen of varying beliefs delivered testimony to how faith works for them and the role their spirituality has played in helping them maintain resiliency to persevere in executing the mission.

“I am excited about what Faith Works is going to do for the Air Force,” said Col. Charles D. Bolton, the 386th AEW commander. “It’s about making us better, stronger and more capable to execute the mission. Let’s all be healthy inside.”

(Editor’s note: Information derived from Chaplain (Maj. Gen.) Dondi E. Costin, the Air Force chief of chaplains, Dec. 1, 2016 Faith Works Memorandum.)