Chaplain (Maj. Gen.) Steven Schaick, Chief of Chaplains, Department of the Air Force, and his Religious Affairs Senior Adviser, Chief Master Sgt. Natalie Gray, visited Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., Nov. 4, 2020.
Schaick and Gray received a brief on the efforts of the 412th Test Wing’s Chaplain’s Office has undertaken since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and how they plan to move forward utilizing their Religious Support Teams.
“You all have done a remarkable job of supporting our Airmen,” Schaick said. “Please keep looking at ways to provide for and help our Airmen and their families.”
Schaick was told about the how the Wing’s Chaplains have continued to provide services for base Airmen to include virtual events such as church services.
Schaick and Gray also met with the 412th Security Forces Squadron and thanked them for their perseverance and determination both at the onset of the pandemic and now. He reinforced the importance of social connectedness during an unprecedented time in the nation.
“Airmen might feel more alone now than ever before,” he said. “But you need to know that you are not, we are here for you. Please reach out.”
The pair also met with maintainers on the flight line and members of the base’s Blue Eagles Honor Guard team. During their short visit, Schaick wanted to personally thank the uniformed and civilian Airmen of the base who have continued to keep the mission going.
During their visit to the Honor Guard team, Schaick said that their countless hours of practicing is not overlooked. He said that their level or professionalism is not lost on service member’s families. He also advised the Honor Guard members, due to their high-stress duties and operational tempo, to “keep an eye out for each other.”
Gray re-emphasized Schaick’s words by stressing that connectedness happens at all levels and that being socially connected to one another could be a life-saver. She explained that by being connected with each other on a more personal level, Airmen should be able to tell if something is wrong with their fellow Airmen.
“Everyone should be comfortable enough to ask someone, ‘how are you doing?’” Gray said. “If something doesn’t seem right with your wingman, don’t be afraid to be ‘appropriately’ nosey.”