POTFF hosts AFSOC CARE summit

Two people talking  to one another

Gen. Stephen Wilson, Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force, speaks with Capt. Nate Nelson (ret.), Office of Congressman Matt Gaetz director of military affairs, June 5, 2018 at the Air Force Special Operations Command Caregiver and Resilience Education summit in Panama City, Florida. Nelson suffered injuries during a deployment from a rocket-propelled grenade that hit his forward operating base in Afghanistan in September 2013. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sergeant Lynette M. Rolen)

People talking in a conference room

Gen. Stephen Wilson, Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force, greets attendees of the Air Force Special Operations Command Caregiver and Resilience Education summit June 5, 2018 in Panama City, Florida. Wilson visited the summit to gauge providing advocacy and support for AFSOC’s wounded, ill or injured service members and their caregivers. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sergeant Lynette M. Rolen)

People listening to other people in a conference room

Gen. Stephen Wilson, Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force, Lt. Gen. Brad Webb, commander of Air Force Special Operations Command, and Chief Master Sergeant Gregory Smith, AFSOC command chief, respond to service member’s comments June 5, 2018, during the AFSOC Caregiver and Resilience Education summit in Panama City, Florida. The AFSOC CARE summit is an annual event focused on fostering resilience among AFSOC’s wounded, ill or injured service members, caregivers and their children. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sergeant Lynette M. Rolen)

People talking in a conference room

Gen. Stephen Wilson, Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force, speaks to Air Force Special Operations Command Caregiver and Resilience Education summit attendees June 5, 2018 in Panama City, Florida. Wilson listened to concerns and answered questions about AFSOC’s wounded, ill or injured service members throughout the summit and during a one-on-one panel session. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sergeant Lynette M. Rolen)

People talking in a conference room

Gen. Stephen Wilson, Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force and Lt. Gen. Brad Webb, commander of Air Force Special Operations Command, listen to caregiver questions during the AFSOC Caregiver and Resilience Education summit June 5, 2018 in Panama City, Florida. The AFSOC CARE summit offered one week of resilience-building events and activities for AFSOC’s wounded, ill or injured service members, their caregivers and children. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sergeant Lynette M. Rolen)

Group photo

Participants of the 2018 Air Force Special Operations Command Caregiver and Resilience Education summit pose for a group photo June 5, 2018 in Panama City, Florida. The AFSOC CARE summit occurs annually and provides a week-long itinerary of resilience-related events for AFSOC’s wounded, ill or injured service members, their caregivers and children. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sergeant Lynette M. Rolen)

HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. --

Air Commandos and their caregivers attended a Caregiver and Resilience Education summit in Panama City from June 4-8.

Air Force Special Operations Command’s Preservation of the Force and Family hosted the week-long event.

The summit focused on fostering resilience among approximately 40 of AFSOC’s wounded, ill or injured service members and their caregivers.

“AFSOC is the example of resilience efforts,” said Lt. Gen. Brad Webb, commander of AFSOC. “Within the AFSOC system, we focus on how we can get the member back in the formation. We don’t try to get them out of the Air Force, we try to keep them in. Our POTFF programs provide an important piece of comprehensive Airman fitness. If we didn’t have this focus on resilience, I wonder what our command would really look like.”

Throughout the duration of the CARE summit, Air Commandos and their families participated in multiple resilience-related events such as leadership panels, resilience education, fireside chats and recreational events.

Air Force Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Stephen Wilson attended the summit. His visit involved interacting with AFSOC’s Airmen and learning about their individual stories.

“I’ve seen AFSOC building a team of trust,” said Wilson. “AFSOC’s POTFF is setting the foundation for resilience across the Air Force. Now, the Air Force is working on a new program called True North with similar types of programs that AFSOC has concerning resilience. AFSOC leadership is showing their Airmen that it’s ok to ask for help, to get the system to work and solve problems.”

Many families throughout the summit came together and shared their experiences.

“I learned that it’s okay to talk about what you’re going through,” said 2nd Lt. Ronald Brandtman, 1st Special Operations Wing Force Support Squadron sustainment flight commander.  “It’s interesting to see and talk with families here that are going through similar things as you.”

Brandtman mentioned that he and his wife were able to connect with a family at the summit who were going through a similar situation and how grateful he was for the POTFF program.

“AFSOC always takes care of their people,” said Brandtman. “Leadership listens to us, lets us know that they’re thinking about resilience programs and are advocating for us. They genuinely want to help and care about us.”