BEALE AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – The 9th Reconnaissance Wing hosted resilience and medical senior leadership alongside subject matter experts to develop the future path for the True North resilience program as it shifts to an operationalized concept, as part of a two-day conference held November 5-6.
Brig. Gen. Claude Tudor, Director of Air Force Resilience under the Deputy Chief of Staff for Manpower, Personnel and Services (A1), Headquarters U.S. Air Force (HAF) served as the principal of True North conference, with Maj. Gen. Robert Miller, Director of Medical Operations and Research, Office of the Surgeon General (SG), HAF, also in attendance to foster collaborative conversation across organizations responsible for the execution of True North.
“As we start to come together we can identify some of these tribal issues,” Tudor said. “Whether it’s the A1, SG, [Chaplain Corps], take your pick across the spectrum. Now that we are together and able to talk through those things; building that collaboration and relationships to start to move things faster, which is really the big thing here. Specifically, as we are driving toward the next iteration of however many bases we are able to fund moving forward.”
As the program moves forward, Tudor emphasized the importance of True North continuing without the “Task Force” name included because the initial phases of the program proved the need to create a permanent, operationalized structure of resiliency across installations. The program will also aim to expand from the four original location to a total of 14 installations as True North progresses across the service.
“We had to make some conscious issues based on funding issues and other things ongoing, but the nexus of that is we are no longer in the beta test,” Tudor stated. “We are operationalizing this to make sure that our Airmen, our families, and our care providers understand that we are in it for the long term. We are in it to win it for our Airmen and families, to make sure we are providing the best class of care that we can for them.”
Wing leadership, mental health providers, chaplains, and community support coordinators from across the test installations of Beale AFB, Whiteman AFB, Minot AFB, and Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson were also in attendance to communicate lessons learned, challenges faced, and recommendations as the program develops.
Throughout the two-day conference, attendees heard presentations on the mapping of the program and its organizational relationships, embedded mental health provider training, embedded spiritual and mental health providers, data and metrics captured in the test phase, and strengths and weaknesses identified out of the current construct.
Each of the presentations fostered opportunity for collaborative communication and dialogue across the differing functional areas tasked with executing under True North.
“Getting to sit down and talk about things in this forum,” Tudor said. “Being able to hear some of these younger officers and non-commissioned officers start to talk through [their perspective, struggles, and knowledge] is creating some great dialogue. [This] is the only way we get to success.”
Miller highlighted the quality of the dialogue, and the clear commitment that subject matter experts have toward improving the program.
“There is a passion there,” Miller stated. “It’s palpable. They care deeply and they want to do the right thing by our Airmen.”
Tudor and Miller emphasized the priorities they have for the stakeholders as they take the program into the next phases.
“For the A1 lane, it’s all about professionalism, accountability, and transparency,” Tudor said. “We want to make sure we are collaborating across this entire thing with our partners to make sure as we do this, there are no gaps and seams. That we are able to build the most effective things to take care of our Airmen and families because there is a limited amount of human capital we can apply to these things. We want to make sure we are doing it the absolute best way that we can while preserving the decision space for our senior leaders, as well as commanders at the installation level.”
Miller stressed the continued focus on how to effectively integrate the mental and behavioral health elements of the program while maintaining support at a capacity that is not detrimental to the health of the providers.
“Our focus is in the mental health and behavioral health arenas of our Airmen,” Miller said. “We know folks are working hard–down range, at our [Medical Treatment Facilities]. Our focus will be on determining how we best support all Airmen from a mental health standpoint, while at the same time taking care of our medics in the unit level and in the MTFs.”
Both leaders also reiterated the importance of understanding that the program will continue forward, and how it is up to the leaders, providers, and experts to create an integrate concept on how it can become an operationalized asset for commanders across the initial bases, and then beyond to the rest of the Air Force.
“You hear the adage that slow is smooth and smooth is fast,” Tudor said. “I would rather take this time now as we are moving and operationalizing from task force to True North, to make sure these relationships are bonded and stronger. By having the trust and confidence in their leaders because they see us collaborating, they see us talking, they see us moving through that. As it trickles down to the lowest ranking Airmen, they know we have their backs. Our Airmen and our families are our most precious resource, so we want to make sure we are doing everything we can across the Headquarters Air Force.”
To learn more about True North itself, go to their home page at https://www.resilience.af.mil/True-North/.
|Date Posted:||11.27.2019 15:12|
|Location:||BEALE AIR FORCE BASE, CA, US|
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