Duke Field, Fla. --
As the only special operations wing in the U.S. Air Force Reserve, the 919th SOW is used to doing things differently. That includes how they take care of reservists and their families. Members from multiple helping agencies and services come together every month as part of the 919th SOW Resiliency Support Team to work together to create events and provide services for Citizen Air Commandos and their families.
Representatives from the Airman and Family Readiness Center, Preservation of the Force and Family, chaplain’s office, Military Family Life Counselor, First Sergeant Council, and others hold monthly meetings to coordinate and brainstorm ideas about what to do and how to best deliver services to Airmen.
“There is a roundtable mentality where everybody brings their skills to the table to provide what Airmen need to be physically, spiritually, socially and mentally resilient,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Caleb Nimmo, the 919th SOW vice commander. “Because the work that is being done is to support Airmen, we wanted the group to be an informal team.”
When COVID-19 restrictions limited in-person meetings, the team was able to get together quickly to brainstorm options for virtual services and now has a system to virtually support members. They also continue to offer limited in-person events as restrictions allow.
“This year we had to think outside the box and quickly adapt,” said Jacqueline Gonzales, the 919th SOW Resiliency Support Team chair and A&FRC director. “We collaborated and found innovative ways to reach more people and get critical and relevant support to our community; COVID didn’t slow us down, and we found success in the virtual environment.”
The Resiliency Support Team manages a variety of events to support social connectedness. They hold hybrid workshops for individuals and families to enhance communication skills, discuss healthy and proactive to ways manage conflict, learn about effective time management, and financial readiness. The team also supports events on and off base such as holiday fun runs, canoe trips, fishing trips and deep sea diving. Recently, the POTFF team partnered with a local science center to offer virtual science camps for over 200 participants.
“We have incredibly talented people on the team who are motivated to help,” said Gonzales. “Anytime one of us has an idea or sees a fix to a problem, we come together and make it happen. I’m proud of our team and really grateful to work with each of them.”
The team continues to look for new innovative ways to provide different events with easy access to all Citizen Air Commandos.
“I’ve never seen such a talented group of disparate entities from different organizations work together towards one common goal of helping Airmen,” said Nimmo. “We have a world class Resiliency Support Team and I’ve never seen anything like it in the Air Force no matter where I’ve been.”
To find upcoming events and workshops put on by the Resiliency Support Team, download the 919th SOW app and follow the 919th SOW Airman and Family Readiness or Duke Field POTFF & Resiliency Community Facebook pages.
For more information on 919th SOW helping agencies, visit the link or call the numbers listed below.
Airman and Family Readiness Center: 850-883-6474
Chaplain Services: 850-883-6919
Preservation of the Force and Family: 850-883-1689
Military Family and Life Counselor: 850-333-9909