There’s a network of agencies working to help Luke Airmen with issues ranging from predeployment jitters to balancing a checkbook. They are not shrouded in mystery, but the Integrated Delivery System, a group of agencies working in concert, is not quite a household term.
“IDS is a collaboration of helping agencies coming together and asking, ‘What can we do for the men and women of Luke Air Force Base?’” said Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Ted Wilson, 56th Fighter Wing chaplain.
These helping agencies include the chapel, mental health clinic, inspector general and Airman and Family Readiness Center, among others. IDS membership may expand in the future as representatives from the key spouses group, first sergeants, dorm council and retirees office have been invited to attend future meetings.
“As individual entities I think we are fairly well known,” Wilson said. “People need to understand there’s a connection between these helping agencies as we refer people back and forth.”
This synergistic approach to Airman wellness stemmed from the creation of community support coordinator positions.
“One of the things [Air Force leaders] determined is that we needed people to focus on our helping agencies and bring them together to assist our Airmen in meeting a lot of their needs,” said Louella Anderson, 56th Force Support Squadron community support coordinator. “Out of that came the community support positions. There’s one community support coordinator at every base.”
Collectively, the IDS agencies are responsible for several programs and events, most notably Wingman Day and a soon-to-be-implemented Leadership Pathways program.
“A group of people at Dover AFB, Del., noted there was not a lot of participation in helping agency classes, so they developed a program to reward class attendees at the squadron, group and wing levels,” Anderson said. “They managed to get the word out and advertise Leadership Pathways and they experienced relative success in having people go to classes just so they would learn to recognize when peers were having issues and give them advice from what they learned in these classes.”
Anderson is currently writing a Leadership Pathways program for Luke and hopes to implement it in the near future.
The IDS is dubbed by its members as the “working arm” of the Community Action Information Board.
“The different helping agencies provide quarterly reports to the CAIB on trends at Luke and within the Air Force,” Anderson said. “These reports give wing leaders a view of where we sit and what we need to focus on.”
Based on those reports, the CAIB, chaired by the wing commander, directs the IDS to come up with a plan to resolve issues and enhance already-existing programs, she said.
The biggest focus for IDS these days is resiliency. IDS recently partnered with the base chapel and AFRC to sponsor Luke’s first IDS retreat where attendees focused on resiliency training and communication. Anderson said the Wingman Day that took place Monday featured resiliency seminars. She hopes Airmen have and will continue to benefit from these programs and become better equipped to deal with the various challenges of life.
“Our Airmen in today’s world have more stressors than seen before,” Anderson said. “We have to join forces and give everybody the best we can because that’s how we get the best out of our people, and that’s what IDS is striving to do.”
IDS team members want Airmen to realize there’s no shame in asking for help.
“Don’t be afraid to ask for help,” Wilson said. “When a young Airman comes into any of our agencies, they’re asking for help and that’s a good thing. The problem I see is they often wait too long, and the problem is bigger now. If you start having problems, come in sooner than later, and let us help you out. We’re here for you. It’s why we exist.”