192nd Fighter Wing Wingman Day aims to strengthen resiliency

About 1500 service members and their families participated in the Virginia Air National Guard Wingman Day and Family Day events during a unit training assembly weekend planned to accomplish training requirements and promote camaraderie on Langley Air Force Base, Sept. 7, 2014. 192nd Fighter Wing Guardsmen participated in sexual assault prevention, relationship, resiliency and force protection training during the first half of Sunday. The second half focused on family activities that included games for children, DJ music, Hawaiian performers, food, family resource booths, financial classes and a commander’s dunk tank. (Photo  by Master Sgt. Carlos Claudio, 192nd Fighter Wing)

About 1500 service members and their families participated in the Virginia Air National Guard Wingman Day and Family Day events during a unit training assembly weekend planned to accomplish training requirements and promote camaraderie on Langley Air Force Base, Sept. 7, 2014. 192nd Fighter Wing Guardsmen participated in sexual assault prevention, relationship, resiliency and force protection training during the first half of Sunday. The second half focused on family activities that included games for children, DJ music, Hawaiian performers, food, family resource booths, financial classes and a commander’s dunk tank. (Photo by Master Sgt. Carlos Claudio, 192nd Fighter Wing)

JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va. – The 192nd Fighter Wing held their annual Wingman Day at the base theater and Bayview Convention Center on Langley Air Force Base, Virginia, September 7, 2014. More than 900 Citizen-Airmen participated in the event that included presentations on relationships, resiliency, force protection and Sexual Assault Prevention.

“The concept of a wingman is fundamental to the Air Force,” said Col. Robert J. Grey, 192nd Fighter Wing Commander. “Whether it is in aerial combat, or in our day-to-day lives, we need to look out for each other. The goal of our Wingman Day is to teach our Airmen not only skills for their own lives, but also how to see warning signs in others and what we can do to help them.”

The idea of being a good wingman is a concept instilled in United States Airmen from the moment they enter Basic Military Training. Mentioned in the Airmen’s Creed, being a wingman is a responsibility that each airman upholds and takes to heart. What it means to be a good wingman may vary among each individual however, Wingman Day serves as a time for Airmen to strengthen their resiliency, receive safety training, and honor the concept of being available and supportive of other Airmen.

The information provided was broken down into two different vehicles for delivery. The morning sessions were held in large group settings with follow-on workshops in the afternoon. The workshops presented airmen with challenging scenarios concerning relationships, financial matters, and how to eliminate stressors that create problems in their life.

Wingman Day is required for all Air National Guard units and Air Force members. This is the second annual Wingman Day for the 192nd Fighter Wing. Each Wingman Day is organized to best fit its viewing audience. This year the focus was on the stressors in our day-to-day lives.

“Our focus is a little different than from the past Wingman Day sessions we’ve done,” said Chief Master Sargent Jay Ellis, 192nd Fighter Wing Command Chief. “In the past, we’ve focused pretty heavily on suicide prevention. This year, we are focusing on the symptoms; we’re going to the root cause. This is why we’re focusing on relationships and finances, the things that are stressors in our lives.”

During the workshops, members were able to discuss different situations on how they deal with the stressors in their lives, and how they, as wingman, can support one another in the midst of carrying out their jobs and fulfilling the missions in the Air National Guard.

“For the wingman concept as a whole, it’s nice to be able to reach out to someone who is in need of help and give them an avenue to pursue that help,” said Ellis. “It’s also good to bring our people together once or twice a year so they can intermingle and re-establish relationships with unit members whom they have not had the opportunity to connect with.”

In addition to the Wingman Day events, the 192nd FW held its annual Family Day at the Community Commons on base. Participants were able to enjoy a 5K Fun Run, food, vendors, inflatables, games and other forms of entertainment.

The Family Day events were a way to show families of service members they are appreciated for their continued support of military members and bring all unit members together for fun and fellowship.