AFMC Wingman Day set for Nov. 9

KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. -- The Air Force has a unique culture based upon the concept of Airmen helping fellow Airmen in times of need and in building a strong sense of self and community. Wingman Day, an annual event, will be held here Nov. 9 in celebration of that culture and to reinforce the Wingman culture between Airmen.

The objective of Wingman Day is to facilitate one-on-one communication and social connections critical to Airmen knowing their fellow Airmen. Regardless of the type of Wingman event or activity, success rests with Airmen engaging with other Airmen in a way that fosters communication and connection. Although practicing being a good Wingman needs to happen daily, Wingman Day places a special emphasis on the importance of knowing your fellow Airmen.

"The Wingman Concept is more than an event; it is a culture of Airmen taking care of Airmen 24/7, 365 days a year," said Gen. Bruce Carlson, Commander, Air Force Materiel Command, who initiated and created the Wingman Day program. "Wingman Day is the centerpiece around which this yearround culture is anchored; it reinforces the Wingman concept, reacquaints Airmen with its principles and revitalizes our dedication to being great Wingmen."

A Wingman culture depends on everyone demonstrating respect and appreciation for each other in their daily interactions and affirms that each and every person is essential to the Air Force's mission, General Carlson said. The AFMC 2006 Wingman Plan mandates participation by all active duty Air Force members under AFMC. Civilians are highly encouraged to participate in all Wingman Day activities.

Amy Pearson, Kirtland AFB Wingman coordinator, stated that the basis for the culture of Airmen is our Air Force core values -- integrity first, service before self and excellence in all we do. "Our core values and the Wingman culture compel Airmen to get involved by knowing their fellow Airmen, staying alert for signs of danger from any source and taking action when necessary to protect your Wingman," she said.

"By knowing your fellow Airmen, one will have the ability to determine if they are exhibiting 'risk factor' behavior and then have the confidence and skill to get them the help they need," Ms. Pearson continued.

The Wingman culture is tied very closely to the Four Dimensions of Wellness -- physical, spiritual, emotional and social -- another AFMC program. "For example, if an Airman is having marital problems, then their fellow Wingman will know them well enough to recognize they need help and will take action to get them that help," Ms. Pearson said.

"Every Airman, whether they have stripes on their sleeve or stars on their collar, has stressors in his or her life," she said. "They need to know that they are not alone and that their Wingman is there to help."

The Wingman culture is also tied to the Wingman Bold Face concept which is borrowed from the aviation community. Bold Face maneuvers are those steps necessary to promptly and completely deal with in-flight emergencies. They are committed to memory by pilots to ensure a methodical and consistent approach is taken during a hazard in flight. These principles apply equally to the Wingman concept: Wingmen helping fellow Wingmen deal with their "in-flight emergencies" as they relate to social stressors in their lives.

On Nov. 9, there will be a number of events held here to engage Airmen and familiarize them with the Wingman Concept and Wingman Bold Face concept.

The date of Nov. 9 was chosen specifically because it is the last day before the three-day holiday weekend in honor of Veterans Day. A major emphasis is safety over the long weekend.

Events to be held on Nov. 9 will start off with all 377th Air Base Wing and Nuclear Weapons Center commanders, first sergeants and executives participating in a commanders' base Integrated Delivery System briefing at the Mountain View Club from 8-10 a.m. The briefings will cover new and hot topics, implementing the Wingman culture in everyday life and in working environments and other topics important to Wingman culture and the Bold Face concept.

Once the commanders leave the briefing, they will then go back to their units and will hold unit Commanders Calls with their Airmen, discussing issues pertaining to safety, morale and being a good Wingman.

Each unit will also hold a unit Wingman activity which is aimed at being fun, safe and engaging where the Airmen can get to know each other better. At 2 p.m., all units will form up at the track next to McDonalds to participate in an all unit run with guidons, Ms. Pearson said.

For more information on Wingman Day, please contact Ms. Pearson at 505-853-1957.