Health & Safety

September 6, 2013

Building resilience through Comprehensive Airman Fitness

Staff Sgt. Christopher Hubenthal
99th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev., — Airmen in the U.S. Air Force may find obstacles and challenges in their path when conducting day-to-day operations, supporting a deployment tasking or dealing with family issues.

These challenges can often result in stress that may hinder Airmen’s performance in their work and in their personal life.

In 2010, the U.S. Army partnered with the University of Pennsylvania to help their Soldiers with combat fatigue and post traumatic stress. They developed Comprehensive Soldier Fitness with the help of UPENN’s Positive Psychology Program that provided strategy for strengthening resilience.

Erik Christensen, 99th Air Base Wing community support coordinator, said not long after the Army incorporated CSF in training for their Soldiers, the Air Force began to formulate a resilience training plan of their own. The new plan would combine safety day, resiliency day, and wingman day into one event.

“The Air Force quickly noticed the brilliance in what the Army was doing, and we developed Comprehensive Air Force Fitness,” Christensen said.

Nellis AFB units incorporate resilience training in the form of CAF days.

“Due to the fluctuating schedule of emergency responders and the flying mission Airmen here support, a single day to perform a CAF day with 100 percent participation for the entire base is not realistic. To remedy the high ops tempo, commanders are given a three week window to implement a CAF day to help ensure all Airmen receive the valuable resiliency education CAF can provide,” Christensen said.

Commanders will be expected to implement a CAF day for their Airmen every quarter, and each quarter will focus on a different pillar of resiliency – mental, social, spiritual and physical.

“Because there are four pillars, four quarters and four CAF days, we focus on one pillar each quarter,” Christensen said. “So if someone is stationed here for three years, [that individual] will have received 12 CAF days and have had three days training dedicated to each pillar.”

The requirements can be fulfilled in many different ways.

“[A CAF day] could be as simple as a team building exercise in your conference room, a process improvement event within the work center, or a hiking event at Mount Charleston,” Christensen said.
The Air Force will use these days to educate Airmen about resilience.

“Through sustained implementation and continuing development, the strengthening of resilience will help Airmen be more prepared to survive stressful situations and avert self-defeating behavior,” he said.

“Think of professional [athletes] who practice, practice and practice,” Christensen said.

“Then they step on to the mound in the ninth inning of the game trying to throw a pitch through the cheering and blowing of horns from the audience. They are able to shut it out, focus on the task at hand and accomplish their job to throw a strike.”

“They didn’t practice it right on the mound. It took Weeks, months and years of their career so that when it came time for them to perform in that stressful environment, they could succeed because they were ready.”

Nellis AFB squadrons just completed the mental resiliency pillar CAF day. Tech Sgt. Mircea Rosculet, 99th Comptroller Squadron budget analyst, thinks his squadron’s CAF day was beneficial and well executed.

“I think [it] was a big success,” Rosculet said. “[The day] started with Yoga, continued with an open forum discussion about how we cope with stress and ended up with golf. It was a great set up, and each participant during the open forum had the opportunity to express their own methods of balancing personal and professional life.”

The experience helped develop Rosculet’s own outlook on CAF implementation in the Air Force.

“In my opinion CAF days are a great idea,” Rosculet said. “It focuses on the Airmen, and how to build a more resilient Air Force. People discover, no matter what the rank, that we go through similar struggles in life, and there is help available if life gets to tough. We are all here for each other.”

“It’s about strengthening the valuable resource of our people so they are strong like steel to implement the mission of the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. military,” Christensen said.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
square

Luke Lightning strikes at Nellis

U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Thomas Spangler An F-35A Lightning II assigned to the 61st Fighter Squadron, Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., taxis to the runway for a training exercise at Nellis AFB, Nev., April 15. Maintaine...
 
 

CSAF discusses Air Force’s need to reset

WASHINGTON — The Air Force Association hosted its monthly Air Force breakfast with Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III in Arlington, Virginia April 2. During his speech, Welsh addressed many topics and issues in today’s Air Force, including hitting the “reset button.” “For the last couple of years what we have...
 
 

Ten seconds later, that picture still exists

RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany — There is a conversation many teenagers have had with their parents or friends, me included. “Hey, don’t worry! It’ll be fine; all of the pictures I send disappear after 10 seconds. That’s how Snapchat works.” While many teenagers only share their silly, cross-eyed, quadruple-chinned faces with friends, there are a...
 

 

Becoming stronger through failure

ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. — Failing the Air Force physical training test was my greatest fear since joining the military. It is embarrassing to admit recently that fear came to fruition, but what I have learned through that failure has become one of my greatest strengths. After failing, I definitely felt like a weak...
 
 

‘Eye’ see you

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Mikaley Towle Lisa Winkelman, 99th Aerospace Medicine Squadron optometry technician, simulates taking a vision test at the Optometry Clinic on Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., April 15. Getting an eye exam is important to ensure eye vision and pressure is good and in the normal range. For...
 
 

Nellis AFB goes green for Earth Day

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — The first Earth Day occurred April 22, 1970, and was introduced by U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin. More than 20 million people and thousands of local schools and communities participated in the first Earth Day in the U.S. Across the Air Force today, installations are taking aggressive strides...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin