By Sgt. Jonathan C. Thibault
4th Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs Office, 4th Infantry Division
AURORA — Outgoing or quiet-natured and imaginative or reality-based were some of the different parts of the personality described by a Fort Carson behavioral health team during a statewide Colorado Army National Guard Safety Stand Down held in Aurora, Saturday.
The 4th Combat Aviation Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, behavioral health team taught about the personality traits to emphasize the straightforward learning goals and objectives it wanted to teach its National Guard brothers.
“Our goal was to make the COARNG Soldiers more aware of their own personality characteristics and provide some operational cues on how to quickly recognize and adapt the various personality styles that they may have to work with,” said Maj. Damian McCabe, behavioral health officer, 4th CAB, 4th Inf. Div.
The guard leadership tries to add new safety training to its safety stand-down event each year.
“We have the standardized safety classes that the Army requires,” said Lt. Col. Robert Soper, commander, 2nd Battalion, 135th Aviation Regiment. “We reach out to different organizations to get new speakers to speak about safety, so it’s not the same year after year. This year, we received speakers from the U.S. Army Aeromedical Research Laboratory and the 4th CAB behavioral health team. They introduced new topics to us and reinforced some things we’ve done in the past.”
The personality training provided by the behavioral health team was an important part of safety training to guard ground and air crews.
“Personality traits are a characteristic way of thinking, feeling and behaving and it plays a key role in crew coordination; thus the overall safety of any mission,” said McCabe. “The mix of personalities on … ground or air crews may be complimentary or they may work at odds with each other. It is critical for crews to have a good sense of who they are working with and how to meld their various personality styles into a safe and effective aircrew.”
Knowledge of the personalities in an aircrew can prevent accidents and is an integral part of flight safety, said Lt. Col. Joshua Day, State Army aviation officer and director of aviation safety, Colorado Army National Guard.
“You can trace aviation accidents caused by clashing personality types of pilots and crew members,” said Day. “This training allows us to get insight on personalities and gives Soldiers the tools to understand that everyone is different. It also allows us to understand how to interact with those different personalities and create even more efficient air crews.”
Guard Soldiers said they were thrilled to have the Fort Carson team attend their safety stand-down event and hope to create an even stronger partnership over the next couple of years.
“We would love to have them back in the future,” said Day. “The CAB is relatively new to Fort Carson and Colorado. The (guard) aviation units have been the only Army aircraft assets in the state for a while. It’s great to have them here, and we look forward to working with the CAB more. We had a great relationship with them during the fires and floods last year. I see big things on the horizon.”