Being there for your Wingman named June’s focus

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Elise Stout
  • 126 ARW/PA
The 126th Air Refueling Wing will host its annual Wing Stand Down Day the Friday of June drill.

This year, Airmen will spend about an hour watching a televised video featuring select offices and program managers around the 126 ARW. This will be followed by small-group discussions hosted by facilitators at their units.

While maximizing the use of time, the services offered to help Airmen and their families will be presented by the familiar faces of those programs.

Different services and topics presented will range from Melissa McHenry explaining available mental health services, to Maj. Desirée Broussard discussing the Sexual
Assault Prevention and Response Program with different ways to help victims in the military and around the community.

The Stand Down Day is nothing new to Airmen who have been in the wing; however, broadcasting the information is different.

During past stand down days, Airmen from all offices and shops would gather in the hangar and listen to speakers from around the wing. In the hangar it can be difficult to hear what is said, and to see the speakers.

"With this broadcasting approach, we can reach everyone. They will be able to hear us, see us, and be able to focus on the messages we want to get across," said Maj. Desirée Broussard.

Senior Master Sgt. Brad Hinkle, the safety representative for the 126 ARW, said it will be more engaging.

"If an Airman has a question, they will be with their peers, which could make them feel more comfortable, and willing to ask their question," said Hinkle. "It will be a smaller, closer environment for anyone who has questions that they would be afraid to ask in a large group."

Travis Barker, the Airman and Family Readiness Program Manager, wants to make sure Wing members understand how to get the help they need.

"This shows them what is available and who to talk to if they or their families need these resources," said Barker.

Since this is the first time the Wing Stand Down Day has been broadcast by prerecorded video, it is hopeful this will reach more people.

Melissa McHenry, the mental health representative for the 126 ARW, says this could be beneficial for Airmen who have to miss the broadcast.

"This will be more flexibile for those who cannot make it to the training. They can view the message at a later time," said McHenry.

Broadcasting to each unit also helps with many time constraints present during a drill weekend according to Hinkle. Because the Wing does not have to shut everything down and transport Airmen to a single facility, time can be spent emphasizing the message.

While transportation is not a problem for Airmen near the hangar, the main issue lies with transporting members of the 126th Supply Chain Management Squadron, the 126th Security Forces Squadron and the 126th Medical Group. Each of these units are housed in buildings separated from the Air National Guard compound on Scott Air Force Base.

Transportation has to allow for all the members from the units to arrive at the 126 ARW main hangar on time.

Col. Peter Nezamis, Commander of the 126 ARW, said this could become the future for all Wing Stand Down Days due to the benefits of televising the required briefings.

"It saves time and money to do it this way." said Nezamis. "Minimizing costs and maximizing the use of time are the ultimate goals for the Wing.".