As COVID-19 continues to spread, concerns are constantly rising about the health and well-being of people globally. U.S. Air Force leadership is dedicated to ensuring the health of its most valuable resource, its Airmen.
The 355th Wing at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., is attacking this issue by executing the 355th Wing commander’s priorities of beating the virus here at Davis-Monthan, providing our team the best care, being five moves ahead, communicating and collecting information and doing all these things while still ensuring high-end readiness.
“Our primary focus during the COVID-19 situation is to beat the virus here at Davis-Monthan,” said Col. Michael Drowley, 355th Wing commander. “By us winning here, we help the rest of the Air Force win on their end. We also need to focus on communicating so everyone at Davis-Monthan knows what is happening and how we are trying to work through this. The only way we can do that is collecting information so we [leadership] know what the team is going through so we can best understand what the situation is.”
A wide range of preventative efforts have been taken across the wing to help mitigate the risk of COVID-19 on the installation.
“I want every Airmen to know and see through our actions that we are taking care of them and their families as we work through some of the challenges associated with this situation,” said Drowley. “We must stay five steps ahead by getting the data we are up against, coming up with a good plan and executing that plan in an agile, adaptable way.”
The 355th Wing is focused on maintaining high-end readiness within the rescue and attack capabilities hosted at Davis-Monthan in support of national defense and global deterrence.
“Our next priority is executing the mission and ensuring that we are ready for whatever kind of situation may arise whether it be a competitor or an aggressor,” said Drowley. “Our ability to do that still remains our primary mission that we are tasked to support and we must make sure our personnel are ready if we need to go.”
Davis-Monthan is comprised of 11,000 total force Airmen that host the Air Force’s largest rescue and attack mission, as well as 34 unique mission partners, that support four combatant commanders around the world daily. These mission sets are critical to the execution of the overall Air Force mission which highlights just how valuable all of Davis-Monthan’s Airmen are.
“We [wing leadership] understand that this is a stressful time due to a lot of uncertainty for our Airmen,” said Chief Master Sgt. James Lyda, 355th Wing command chief. “We have empowered supervisors to further take care of their Airmen by being able to send them home. This is just one of the measures we are taking to ensure that our Airmen and their families are taken care of.”
The wing is dedicated to ensuring the health of its Airmen as without personnel there is no mission. Airmen must rely on one another to help get through this situation as agencies from around base are working to make certain that Airmen are safe and healthy.
“If you find yourself in a bad situation or a bad way, please reach out for help and raise your hand,” said Lyda. “Your leadership teams are still here, we are still working hard and we still care about you. Your leadership team really cares about you and your family and that wants to see you do well with all of us coming out well on the other side of this situation.”
The most valuable resource in the Air Force’s inventory is its Airmen and 355th Wing leadership is constantly working to ensure the well-being, physically and mentally, of its Airmen.
“When I think about what we’re going through right now, I try to focus on my ‘why’,” said Drowley. “The ‘why’ that really is what gives me my day-to-day why I do the mission and why my Airmen team is so important to me. So as you are going through everything you’re going through, try to reflect on your ‘why’ and why it is you do what you do day-to-day.”
For more information on Davis-Monthan and COVID-19, please use the list of resources below.
Davis-Monthan AFB COVID-19 Information
Pima County Health Department COVID-19 Information
Davis-Monthan AFB Facebook
Davis-Monthan AFB Twitter
U.S. Air Force COVID-19 Information
Department of Defense COVID-19 Information
Center for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 Information