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AFMC strengthens focus on Wingman Intervention Program

  • Published
  • By Estella Holmes
  • Air Force Materiel Command Public Affairs

The Wingman Intervention Program captures instances where bystanders take action to keep themselves and their Wingmen safe by recognizing warning signs, potentially dangerous situations or inappropriate behaviors.

In a recent note to the staff, Maj. Gen. Carl Schaefer, Air Force Materiel Command deputy commander, encouraged leaders at all levels to ‘promote this initiative’ within their units. He encouraged them to be intensely aware of situations where their people recognized potentially at-risk behaviors and intervened in a positive way.

 “True Wingmen look out for the welfare of their peers and community, and in using these instances as teachable moments, we encourage similar behaviors from our entire workforce,” said Schaefer.

The Air Force Core Values - integrity first, service before self and excellence in all we do - are the foundation for the Wingman concept. The program is premised on the connection between Wingman concepts and bystanders.

On an Air Force base, Airmen might witness a potentially dangerous or problematic situation, and since they are there, may be able to assist. They are seeing situations where intervening to protect their fellow Airmen, military or civilian, would be appropriate. Some examples might be alcohol abuse, bullying, suicide ideation, safety mishaps or sexual assault.

A change from how the program operated in the past allows Wingmen who take action and intervene to be highlighted for their proactive behavior. This is a major change from past practices where both the Wingman who confronted the potentially harmful behavior and the Airman who received the support, remained anonymous.

The Airman who is saved from the potentially dangerous situation or harmful behavior will continue to be protected by anonymity, however reinforcing the proactive actions will begin to change the AFMC culture and enhance the connection of our Air Force community.

Wingman Intervention supports a culture in which our total force Airmen support one another by intervening when the need arises. These actions provide teachable moments which encourage supportive behavior throughout the entire workforce.