By Lea Johnson
21st Space Wing Public Affairs staff writer
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — Airmen from the 21st Space Wing took time away from their everyday jobs Nov. 10 to focus on another important mission — being a good wingman.
Col. Chris Crawford, 21st Space Wing commander, said Wingman Day is simply about looking out for each other. “The thing we want to focus on is you and your relationships with your family, your friends and your peers at work,” he said.
Wingman Day started with an all-call in hangar 140 where Crawford unveiled the Air Force’s Comprehensive Airman Fitness campaign. CAF focuses on four pillars of fitness — physical, social, mental and spiritual. One pillar will be emphasized each quarter starting with physical fitness. The Air Force has seen other programs similar to CAF, but none quite as all-inclusive.
“This is a very comprehensive approach so you have all the different aspects of well roundedness to be successful, not just in your Air Force career but in life,” Crawford said. “Wingman Day, very simply, is about us looking out for each other in all four of those aspects.”
Crawford also emphasized the need, not only to be well rounded, but to be balanced. The budget is down but missions are up, adding to the load Airmen carry. “We need people who are able to manage the stresses and challenges of the day,” he said.
Being a wingman means intervening when someone is showing signs of being unable to handle that stress. “The number one thing to do is to share with each other, to care about each other, and be willing to be proactive,” Crawford said. “It’s hard to be an effective wingman if you don’t really know the person beside you.”
Being a good wingman also means being available to help an Airman off base. Lt. Col. John Duda, 21st Space Wing Safety Office, reminded Airmen that they are the Air Force’s most precious asset.
“We want you to enjoy the holidays but we want you to come back safely from them,” Duda said.
That means having a transportation plan if there’s drinking at holiday parties, driving at a speed safe for winter road conditions, packing a winter survival kit, and following all safety guidelines for winter sports.
Many incidents can be prevented by having a good wingman. Duda encouraged everyone to step forward and stop friends from making a bad decision that may cause harm to themselves or others. “That’s part of the wingman culture,” he said.
Following the CAF and safety briefings, Airmen split up for unit and flight team building activities including lunch, hiking, scavenger hunts and more.