Airmen build resiliency on Wingman Day

by Senior Airman Omari Bernard, 18th Wing Public Affairs
Kadena Air Base

KADENA AIR BASE, Japan -- Every year units across the Air Force conduct two Wingman Day events for Airmen to enhance the resilience of individuals, families, and communities.

This year members of Team Kadena chose to develop themselves in line with the Air Force Core Values and Comprehensive Airman Fitness

Lisa Velez, 18th Wing community support coordinator, said the 91 elective courses offered 239 times throughout the Kadena community were Core Values Immersions and Comprehensive Airman Fitness electives. CAF is a holistic approach to develop over-arching Airman fitness and resilience. The overall intent was to promote and cultivate resiliency among Team Kadena.

"Resiliency is not linear but rather multi-dimensional," Velez said. "One's ability to apply the definition of resiliency: recover, withstand, and grow; varies from person to person. The brilliance of the Airman's Choice model is that it provides a broad spectrum of electives for each member of the community to tailor their Wingman Day time to address specific needs and interests."

All of the courses available that day helped address one of the four domains of Comprehensive Airman Fitness: spiritual, physical, mental and social. Classes ranged from indoor soccer to risk management, from learning about substance abuse to learning how to be a better leader, and more.

Velez said the addition of Core Value immersions allowed community members an opportunity to relate and experience various missions in the wing.

"I believe Wingman Day gives us the opportunity to see our base as a whole to give us insight and appreciation of what goes on day in and day out," said Senior Airman Nickolas Browning, 18th Component Maintenance Squadron. "From AAFES's mission to pararescue missions, it has shown me how vital everyone is to not only Kadena Air Base, but to [the] Pacific Air Forces and the Air Force."

Tech. Sgt. Carolina Angulo, 18th Wing community support coordinator deputy, said that with the collaboration and support of numerous agencies and command, the goal of this year's Wingman Day was achieved; best serve the community with a choice model and CAF integration while impacting the lives of many and promoting personal and professional growth.

"Wingman Day for me is the time that it is set aside to care for one another and to make sure that we connect with those around us," Angulo said. "We get caught up in the day to day grind that we forget to look at the person behind the mission. Life is about relationships and wingman day gives us that time to do just that -build relationships."

Airmen like Browning took home lessons from their Wingman Day courses.

"What Wingman Day means to me is something that cannot be summed up in just one word," Browning said. "Wingman Day is something that we as Team Kadena come together not to just learn what each other does, but a day to recognize who we are as Airmen and the impact we have in the Pacific. We are the tip of the spear and Wingman Day helps us see that first hand."

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