By Michael Peterson | 30th Space Wing Public Affairs
VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. — One might forgive Vandenberg Air Force Base for looking more like a college campus than a military installation for a day. With base personnel donning their favorite college apparel in place of uniforms and work clothes as they walk to their elected classes, a relaxed theme of education and learning is on the curriculum for Wingman University Nov. 1, 2019.
The idea for Wingman University spurred from feedback during the recent Resiliency Tactical Pause, an Air-Force wide effort to help prevent suicides and help Airmen in need by giving them time back to connect and break down barriers. The 30th Space Wing is continuing to build on the foundation of the RTP by tying in the team-building focus of its Wingman Day program.
“The Resilience Tactical Pause was largely about receiving feedback to understand how we as an Air Force can better care for our Airmen,” said Chief Master Sgt. Daryl Hogan, 30th SW command chief. “Wingman Day, as practiced here with Team Vandenberg, is about culture. It’s about creating and continuing a culture of inclusion among our teammates where we take a step back from the daily grind and focus on connecting with one another. In a nutshell, Wingman Day is putting the idea behind the RTP into action.”
At the core of Wingman University is a curriculum of twenty elective courses Airmen and civilians can select from. These courses look to provide tips and advice on various life skills including: relationship advice, leadership tools, work-life balance, stress management and creating goals.
“We liked the idea of offering many different types of resilience classes where the student had the choice to select which class to attend,” explained Pauline Chui, 30th SW community support coordinator. “We hope that each member of Team Vandenberg has a chance to build on their own resilience skills in some way. We also hope they will be able to reflect on their own comprehensive health and are able take away some new skill from the day that will help strengthen their personal resilience.”
For members of Vandenberg AFB, Wingman Day provides an opportunity to explore various self-improvement classes in a way they see fit, choosing the topics they believe will be most helpful or interesting to them, and making connections along the way.
“Everyone should know that they matter, and they are part of a team that cares,” said Chui. “If someone is feeling helpless or hopeless or going through some difficult times, we hope they know they can call on their fellow Airmen at Team Vandenberg or one of our helping agencies for assistance. Conveying this message has always been a priority throughout the year for us, and Wingman Day is a capstone of these efforts.”