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.”