Resiliency, coping skills built through teamwork

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Michael Battles
  • 39th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
In an ever-changing Air Force, resiliency is a core competency of the Comprehensive Airman concept that all service members must embrace to be an effective member of the U.S. Air Force.

To develop the resiliency of 28 Airmen, staff sergeant and below, from the 39th Air Base Wing, Almeda Giles, 39th ABW community support coordinator, hosted a three-day RUfit Resiliency Retreat July 10 through12 in Mersin, Turkey.

Along with Giles and the 28 Airmen who were selected for the retreat by their leadership, six master resiliency trainers attended to teach classes on coping skills, interpersonal problem solving and overall resiliency development.

"Everybody goes through things in their life," Giles said. "How you deal with things in your life is the key to how you overcome it. The importance of a retreat like this is because leadership knows their people.  They know some people are struggling and can use that extra little push that says you can do it."

According to Sara Ancic, 39th ABW master resiliency trainer, the retreat was important because it assisted individuals in need through a less conventional way.

"It was important for those in attendance because they were selected by their leadership as someone that could benefit from learning new coping skills," Ancic said. "This was the perfect opportunity to get them out of a traditional classroom setting or away from a computer-based training module and learn through guided discussions and fun activities with their peers."

Activities included an ice breaker, meditation, games and lessons geared at bringing the individuals together as a team.

"One of the things we required them to do is not go anywhere by themselves," Giles said. "I tasked everyone there that if they see a wingman sitting alone, you have to go talk to them, you have to include them in whatever it is you doing."

According to Giles, the participants of the retreat showed a positive response from the activities.

"At the last day before we wrapped it up I asked everyone to tell us what they learned or what they gained from being a part of the retreat and it was eye opening," Giles said. "It would've made you want to cry, because these people were going through things in their lives or feeling isolated."

Giles also stated that one participant said the retreat was life-altering.

"One of the guys said that 'it changed his life forever,'" Giles said. "He's here without his spouse and struggling with being alone. He said he cried at the end and that it really changed him."

Ancic said that for those who want to get involved as a trainer or need help with resiliency to let their leadership know.

"I highly encourage people to get involved, whether it's as an attendee or becoming a Resilience Training Assistant," Ancic said. "It will help you learn things about yourself and strengthen skills you already have so when you experience adversity you will be armed with the coping skills to help you through those tough times."

For more information about becoming an RTA or additional RUfit events, contact Almeda Giles at 676-6646.