MTANG to participate in Winter Wingman Day

  • Published
  • By Maj. Rick Anderson
  • 120th Fighter Wing
On Saturday, February 4, the Montana Air National Guard will be participating in the Winter Wingman Day 2011. This is a program to reinforce the wingman concept as the foundation to building resilient Airmen.

"The entire wing will stand down and learn about stress, how it affects us in our professional and personal life and how to effectively manage it," said the 120th Ground Safety Specialist, Master Sgt. Brian Bickel. "We'll wrap up the training with a winter survival scenario that is very common during the Montana winters."

The Air Force directed stand down will last four hours. The goal is to improve the resilience of group attendees through structured discussion of resilience skills and the importance of being vigilant wingmen.

Squadrons will break out into smaller groups where leaders will guide discussions using slides with embedded video samples. Commanders and their subordinate leaders and facilitators, who have been selected for their own resiliency skills, will lead the discussions.

"It's important to stop and take pause to remain mission ready," said Technical Sgt. Will Fuller who serves as a safety representative for the 120th Force Support Squadron. "To effectively mitigate stress we need to understand what stress is and how it can impede our mission readiness if it is not handled effectively."

According to the wing safety officer, Maj. Scott Smith, Wingman Day can work wonders to bridge communication gaps and solidifying trust between our fellow Airmen. "Wingman Day is simply what we should be doing on a daily-basis year round," said Maj. Smith. "Taking care of each other, inspiring each other and, above all, have the tools necessary to help ourselves, our family and our co-workers."

The Wingman Day Program began in 1993 when Gen. (ret.) Robert Foglesong realized, while serving as the 14th Flying Training Wing commander at Columbus AFB, Miss., that in the same way a team of aviators or wingmen, flying in formation, are for more formidable than a single aircraft. Similarly, Airmen are more powerful collectively than as individuals.

Never leave your wingman.