Wingman Day a success at Vandenberg

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Vandenberg Airmen celebrated team unity and awareness through team-building exercises and events during Wingman Day Friday here.

Wingman Day is an Air Force wide program that offers a pause in the mission focus in order to solidify relationships and emphasize making responsible choices.

"Wingman day events should emphasize team building, communication and interaction, not training or the presentation of material," said Master Sgt. Bruce Martineau, 30th Space Wing weapons safety superintendent.

All units planned their own events for the morning, focusing on team building, better choices, suicide prevention, accidental injuries and death; as well as stressors like force shaping.

"It's important to take a break from day to day operations and focus on the issues that are botherering peers and subordinates in order to make better, responsible choices," Sergeant Martineau said.

Vandenberg Airmen then got a chance to see what other units were doing when the entire wing was invited to participate in team-building exercises located inside and outside of the 76th Helicopter Squadron hangar.

Some of the team-building exercises included a golf cart ride, in which one person was blindfolded and his wingmen had to guide him through an obstacle course of orange cones. There were also different booths that gave Airmen an opportunity to see how alcohol impairment can hinder simple tasks, such as golf, basketball and even walking. This was done by wearing different goggles showing different stages of drunkenness.

There was also a rock climb wall and a modified go-kart to simulate drunk driving.
Airmen used these events to bond with people in their units in a way that isn't always possible in their work stations.

"I think wingman day was a good way to step outside the work environment and take some time to get to know the people we are working with every day," said Airman 1st Class Sarah Mitchell, 614th Space Intelligence Squadron. "I definitely think it should continue."

Even though Friday was dedicated to the Air Force's Wingman concept, being a good wingman goes beyond just a one-day event.

"The Wingman concept is more than an event," Sergeant Martineau said. "It is a culture of Airmen taking care of Airmen 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year."