Comprehensive Airman Fitness: Daring to care

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. (AFNS) -- Air Mobility Command officials recently called up hundreds of Guard, Reserve and active duty Airmen to support operations Odyssey Dawn and Unified Protector.

We gave these Airmen between 4 and 36 hours notice to get on an aircraft and forward deploy. These amazing Airmen answered the call to protect freedom and innocent lives. But, the consequence of our expeditionary force is that we often leave families and loved ones behind and ask them to pick up the pieces.

Right now the spouse of a deployed Airman is at home alone and having a very rough day. Maybe the children are sick, or the car has broken down, or a water pipe has burst and flooded the basement. While people at our bases have established a robust support network, it's often hard for Airmen and families to know when to ask for help. At those times, help needs to be delivered, sometimes right to the front door.

Leaders at one base with particularly harsh winters recently found a unique way to deliver help. Members of the Airmen and spouse support network shovel driveways for those Airmen who are deployed. While shoveling a driveway, they also take the opportunity to knock on the door and check up on the Airman's family.

On one day a volunteer was out shoveling a driveway and knocked on the door just to check in. He found a mom with three sick children almost at her wit's end. He made a simple offer to pick up groceries for her because he dared to care. That offer of help, delivered when it was needed, made a world of difference in that family's life.

Although this great initiative can't be implemented at every base, this example highlights that we as Airmen and spouses should not wait by the phone for those in need to call. We must get a little bit nosy, find out what those Airmen and families need and be there to deliver it.

Now, it takes a lot of courage for these Airmen and spouses to reach out because our society has changed over the years. When I grew up and new families moved in, neighbors used to greet them with plates of cookies. Today, many of us never even meet our neighbors much less welcome interference from a nosy neighbor. The way we communicate with one another has changed too.

Thanks to technology, we can text and email constantly, but we've also become more isolated, making it harder to actually physically reach out to one another. Yet, as leaders we cannot follow this societal trend. We must encourage and develop strong, connected Air Force communities, and we must "dare to care." I would offer that Comprehensive Airman Fitness is just that simple. It's about reaching out to deliver a helping hand.

There's a second story I want to share with you. Just a few months ago, one of our Airmen was going through significant personal difficulties. He began talking to the chaplain and that helped, but everyone in his office realized he was still troubled. Then, one day he suddenly left work and didn't come back.

The Airmen who worked with him knew this was out of character and something wasn't right. When he didn't answer his phone, some of the Airmen drove to his house to look for him. When they arrived, they quickly realized that although the garage door was closed, a vehicle was running inside.

The group forced the garage door open and found him passed out in his running car. Later, medical professionals would tell them he was only minutes away from being non-revivable. Recognizing when someone needs help and delivering it, even when you need to break down a garage door to reach that person, that is Comprehensive Airmen Fitness!


Facebook Twitter
DYK: Aircraft have lifespans! Like humans, they require check-ups in the form of maintenance inspections to prolong their ability to fly. These "checks" prevent in-flight system failures which ultimately protects aircrew and passengers. Learn more from the 86th Maintenance Squadron at Ramstein Air Base, Germany on what it takes to correct issues so aircraft can stay airborne.
WATCH: United States Air Force pilots talk about the importance of Exercise Saber Strike 18 as they refuel over the Baltic Sea on June 18, 2018. Saber Strike 18 is a long-standing training exercise designed to enhance interoperability between the U.S. and our allies. The training focused on improving land and air operational capabilities between the U.S. and our NATO allies. (U.S. Air National Guard video by: Master Sgt. Wolfram M. Stumpf)
Check out some shots from yesterday's All-Star Armed Services Classic Championship softball game in Washington, D.C. This event, part of MLB’s All-Star Week, pays tribute to the men and women of the Armed Forces. Washington Nationals U.S. Army
Air Force and U.S. Army coed softball teams render military honors during the playing of the National Anthem during the All-Star Armed Services Classic Championship softball game, Washington, D.C., July 13, 2018. This event, part of MLB’s All-Star Week, pays tribute to the men and women of the Armed Forces. Washington Nationals
Great way to lead by example!
The United States Air Force is facing a pilot shortage. To help solve the challenge, the Aircrew Crisis Task Force was recently created to provide strategic direction and actionable recommendations to senior leaders on how to solve the aircrew manning crisis. FULL STORY: https://go.usa.gov/xUb3z
Your United States Air Force news: ✓ A B-52 crew assists in a search and rescue operation off the coast of Guam ✓ An Afghan pilot class graduates in the Czech Republic ✓ The Air Force is using innovative approaches to training pilots to make the process faster and more efficient
Now that’s how weathermen work! Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunters fly weather reconnaissance missions into Tropical Storm Chris and Tropical Storm Beryl. http://www.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/1569944/hurricane-hunters-fly-tropical-storms-beryl-chris/
The F-22 Raptor's combination of stealth, supercruise, maneuverability, and integrated avionics, coupled with improved supportability, represents an exponential leap in warfighting capabilities. The F-22 cannot be matched by any known or projected fighter aircraft. Maintaining these aircraft can involve a bit of a learning curve. Airmen at KadenaAirBase use past technology to help learn how to work with the undefeated Raptor. FULL STORY: http://www.kadena.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/1567295/hard-to-raptor-head-around/
Help us out! Can you caption this photo?
The B-52 Stratofortress has sniper pods that provide improved long-range target detection/identification and continuous stabilize surveillance for all missions, including close air support of ground forces. Air Force Global Strike Command crew members on a B-52 were able to spot a historic Pacific Island style canoe so that the U.S. Coast Guard could rescue the six passengers!
For the past 60 years, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, has continually helped us maintain a technological edge against our advarsaries. Together with the Air Force Research Laboratory - AFRL, a fusion of ideas is leading to newly highlighted innovations.
SOUND ON! Celebrate freedom with the sound of freedom! Happy Independence Day!
The family of #USAF TSgt John Chapman is embraced by their local community at Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport, Fla… https://t.co/HRc95V33gm
#DYK: The 1st Aero Squadron was the first tactical aviation unit to participate in American military action.… https://t.co/FPijKQVfHp
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: An open letter & invitation to Col "Ned Stark:" Join my team & help us re-exam our officer promotion system -- as lead…
RT @AFWERX: AFWERX is using Ideascale to offer USAF Airmen the opportunity to submit their innovative idea for the Air Force. Join the netw…
#Airman uses data from the #MQ9Reaper to give firefighters near-real-time information as they confront fires in… https://t.co/tX2TSbYrSg
#Airmen from 105th Airlift Wing learn impact of their mission as this #Airman shares her harrowing tale of survival… https://t.co/40kBNQOz3d
Maj. Onier Alejandro-Villarreal & Capt. Rodney McIntyre, 927th Aeromedical Staging Squadron medical techs, operate… https://t.co/YsMHOL2vV7
Only in the #AirForceFamily! The chances of being your sibling's replacement at a deployed location are slim to non… https://t.co/JRED65irZS
RT @AETCommand: “The squadron is the beating heart of the @usairforce; our most essential team,” - Chief of Staff of the Air Force @GenDave
.@MacDill_AFB #Airmen prove that in an emergency a wing commander can turn to augmentees for additional support.… https://t.co/Pgal3TEP3p
RT @DeptofDefense: Prepared for all situations in all conditions. @AKNationalGuard #airmen with the 212th Rescue Squadron at @JBER_Officia
Happy Monday! Let's get this week off to a great start w/ #AirForce #WIP! https://t.co/rlP3y4NQ9k https://t.co/OlzebNB1lQ
After toggling with the idea of joining the #military for years, she promised herself to stop waiting for life to f… https://t.co/7Gt22iqNlD
It's #NationalAviationDay & new aviation opportunities are here! We're partnering with @CivilAirPatrol to groom tom… https://t.co/Fe9b4jlmGw
These supply #Airmen work 24/7 to ensure there is no break in the mission @RAFMildenhall because #NKAWTGhttps://t.co/biE2BPXVe1
Every #Airman has their reason for serving. Read on as these #Airmen explain what putting on the uniform everyday m… https://t.co/ubeDmY1liq
For the first time in the 63-year history of Operation Deep Freeze, #Airmen from the 304th Expeditionary Airlift Sq… https://t.co/CdeyI4HjHT
#DYK, the #MedalofHonor is the highest award for bravery that can be awarded to members of the United States Armed… https://t.co/qei2LbbD1I
.@388fw’s 4th Fighter Squadron became the first operational unit to fire the F-35A’s the #aircraft’s 25mm cannon on… https://t.co/J7hbXrCSCv