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Building stronger Airmen through Resiliency Total Force Partnerships

Members of the 655th Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Wing, 718th Intelligence Squadron, display their esprit de corps during “Warrior Day” activities June 1, 2019.  Academic activities and physical/mental challenges tested team-working abilities and enhanced resiliency skills.

Members of the 655th Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Wing, 718th Intelligence Squadron, display their esprit de corps during “Warrior Day” activities June 1, 2019. Academic activities and physical/mental challenges tested team-working abilities and enhanced resiliency skills. (Courtesy Photo)

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio -- The stress of performing operations for an extended time, frequent deployments and exposure to extreme violence eventually takes a toll on Airmen. The 655th Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Wing, 718th Intelligence Squadron, makes taking care of Airmen a priority, providing services and events designed to discuss and actively participate in team resilience training.

The 718th logged 139,000 mission hours since 2014 as an integral part of continuous operations around the world.  Because Reserve Citizen Airmen blend seamlessly with their active duty counterparts, it made sense for the unit to enlist the help of their Total Force Integration partners, the 480th ISR Wing and the 497th ISR Group, and their Airman Resiliency Teams.

ARTs, comprised of a clinical social worker, psychologist, medical team, chaplain and religious affairs assistant, aid Airmen with their physical, mental and spiritual stressors.         

 “It’s important to consider that reservists have civilian jobs that impact their lives making it in some cases more complex,” said Capt. Erick Menjivar, 497th ISRG clinical social worker.  “It’s easy to forget there’s more there.”

Occasionally, military units will step away from the everyday routine day to engage in building morale.  Events provide time for leaders and Airmen to interact on a personal level, develop the relationship necessary to improve resiliency. These gatherings also provide opportunities to engage in meaningful conversation about how to cope with the challenges of balancing Reserve duty, civilian work, and personal life.

The unit held a “Warrior Day” with their TFI partners on June 1, 2019.  Members participated in a “Strength Finders” seminar on how to evaluate an individual’s strengths/weaknesses and apply that to improving the workplace, and a combat leadership course which taught tools to recognize distressed Airmen and assist them. 

Teams relied on communication and teamwork to win assorted physical competitions and survive a land navigation exercise during a very wet winter day. They demonstrated true team resilience as they navigated the course in the pouring rain, trudging through the mud from position to position in small groups. 

“The training was awesome, cold, and wet but worth it,” said Senior Airman Henry, 718 IS cyber transport technician.  “We boosted our team comradery and a learned a valuable life skill.”

Colonel Brooks concluded the day’s events by participating in a military working dog demonstration conducted by the 633th Security Forces Squadron. 

“I tell the squadron that I need them physically, mentally and emotionally healthy to execute the mission,” Brooks said. “If my wrestling with a military dog boosts their spirits, then it’s worth it.”

The 655 Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance Wing is dedicated to serving as the premier and most diverse ISR Group in the United States Air Force, delivering timely, reliable, accurate and actionable intelligence products enabling a decision advantage over adversaries of the United States.  The 655th is an independent wing under 10th Air Force, Air Force Reserve Command, headquartered at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, and consists of two Groups and 14 intelligence squadrons (IS) across Ohio, California, Texas, Nebraska, Virginia, Florida and Maryland conducting 10 distinct missions.  For exciting and rewarding career opportunities with the 655 ISRG, please contact your local Air Force Reserve recruiter or call 937-257-8117.