by Tech. Sgt. Ray Bowden
21st Space Wing Public Affairs
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — The 21st Space Wing observed Wingman Day Oct. 7 with a variety of activities including briefings on alcohol awareness, financial management, suicide awareness, and an abbreviated Warfit session featuring a mile and a half run.
Following the run, Airmen participated in various team building or “break out” sessions with their units.
“Wingman Day is simply an outward manifestation of what we should be doing year-round: taking care of each other and inspiring each other to reach our full potential as Airmen,” said Col. Stephen Whiting, 21st SW commander. “This concept is in our DNA. As far as I’m concerned, everyday is Wingman Day.”
According to one local Airman, Wingman Day can work wonders to bridge communication gaps and solidifying trust between Airmen.
“We get to know our co-workers a bit more and can evaluate if they really are true wingmen,” said Airman 1st Class Patricia Cerda, 21st Operations Group. “In my case, I know that if something ever were to happen to me, I have someone to count on. We get to work together as a team outside of the office.”
Senior Airman Jennifer Fox, 21st OG, said the day’s briefings did not fall on deaf ears.
“The suicide awareness briefing hit me the hardest — you have to be aware that a co-worker’s behavior might not just be them having a bad day,” she said. “We all need to watch out for each other and be aware of what’s going on with those we work with.”
The Wingman Program began in 1993, when Gen. (Ret.) Robert Foglesong realized, while serving as the 14th Flying Training Wing commander at Columbus AFB, Miss., that in the same way a team of aviators or “wingmen” flying in formation are far more formidable than a single aircraft, Airmen are more powerful collectively than as individuals. Since then, the Air Force has run with the concept and most Air Force installations celebrate Wingman Day every October.