Wing, group and squadron commanders from Luke Air Force Base spent the afternoon of Nov. 25 competing in a friendly paintball game in El Mirage focused on team building and camaraderie.
“I’m a big believer that the relationships between commanders on base are very important,” said Brig. Gen. Michael Rothstein, 56th Fighter Wing commander. “They’ve got to work together and trust each other to get the job done. This was a chance to mix things up a little bit to allow them to get to know each other better.”
Each commander was given a loaded paintball gun at the start of each round. They were also provided safety equipment, including face masks and protective vests. They were divided into two teams and proceeded to the scenario. The objective of each match was to eliminate the opposing team by strategically working together.
A variety of scenarios were presented during each round. One scenario had the teams navigate through different types of terrain such as river beds, buildings and trenches.
“I was impressed by the way the wing’s leadership and squadron commanders easily fell into place and executed when faced with a new challenge,” said Lt. Col. Charles Jones, 607th Air Control Squadron commander. “The competition was a great chance to strengthen our cohesion and professional relationships and to see each other in a different light.”
Rothstein said the main goal of the competition was to develop team-building skills and communication strategies by focusing on trust, communication and creative problem solving.
“It’s important we remember to care for the morale, health and welfare of our people, especially our commanders, who spend so much of time caring for their own people,” Rothstein said. “This was a great change of pace for our commanders, as we focused on team building and our wing leadership’s well-being. I saw good and bad marksmen, outstanding small-force tactics, and plenty of big smiles. Mission accomplished.”