October 9, 2015

Wingman day: a time to come together

by Senior Airman JAMES HENSLEY
56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Airman 1st Class Ridge Shan
Airmen use teamwork to complete a potato sack race, one event on the obstacle course. The day offered Luke Airmen across base the chance to interact and engage with one another by pitting them against each other in fun activities and competitions.

On Sept. 30, Airmen across base came together to strengthen bonds and build new ones through sporting events and activities. The deeper reason for Wingman Day can be overlooked through all the fun, and it’s important to take a step back and remember why we have it.

Airmen engage in an impromptu dance-off Sept. 30 during festivities on Wingman Day 2015 at Luke Air Force Base. Wingman Day 2015 included grilled food and live music.

The concept of being a wingman entails mentoring and supporting Airmen.

“Being a wingman means watching out for others and being there for them when they need you,” said Airman 1st Class Demetrius Smith, 56th Civil Engineer Squadron heavy equipment journeyman. “Wingman day is a time for Airmen to socialize and get to know their wingmen better. It’s also about interacting and learning to work together.”

Wingman Day supports comradery and fosters better relations between Airmen.

“We should do this more often,” said Airman 1st Class Sam Kenyon, 56th CES heavy equipment journeyman. “It’s a huge boost for morale and gives Airmen across base a chance to come together and compete in friendly activities.”

Airmen had a huge list of events to keep them busy throughout the day that included an obstacle course, tug-o-war, bubble ball, home run derby, soccer challenge, basketball, ultimate Frisbee, trash can pong, volleyball, and a corn hole tournament. There was also a picnic for all participants.

607th Air Control Squadron Airmen attempt to pull the rope from the 56th Security Forces Squadron Airmen during tug-o-war.

After all the games ended, Airmen hopefully had built new and stronger relationships.

“The important thing is to find a wingman you can trust,” Smith said. “Someone you can go to with anything and be able to talk is all part of being a wingman for someone.”

Having a wingman isn’t restricted to the military. In fact, the civilian side can benefit from the wingman concept as well.

“One thing most civilians who have never served don’t understand is the true bond military members have,” said Airman 1st Class Audra Stanton, 607th Air Control Squadron weapons simulation technician. “You may not like someone personally but when the time comes, everyone joins together as a family with the common goal to take care of each other and our nation.”

Senior Airman Benjamin Bright, 56th Dental Squadron dental assistant, hits the ball during the home run derby competition during. Luke’s Wingman Day offered Airmen a pause in the day-to-day mission to have fun with their fellow wingmen.

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