Whole Airman Festival empowers Team Dover Airmen

  • Published
  • By Roland Balik
  • 436th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

The 436th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron’s Integrated Resiliency Team hosted The Whole Airmen Festival, providing Team Dover Airmen with more than 20 on-base resources pertaining to educational and career opportunities, as well as health and wellness services Aug. 1, 2022.

More than 100 Airmen from different squadrons attended the festival.

Resources offered at the festival included the Fitness Center, Dover AFB Health Promotions, Bedrock Innovation Lab, Transition Assistance Advisor, 436th Airlift Wing Legal Office, Air Force Civilian Service, Dover AFB Violence Prevention Program, Community Support Coordinator, Dover AFB Diversity and Inclusion, Military One Source, Equal Opportunity Office, Drug Demand Reduction Program and the 436th AW Chaplain.

Months earlier, the IRT interviewed squadron members and asked them what Culture of Care priorities were important to them and found that mental health, having a peer support network and empowering Airman leadership mattered the most.

The festival originated from a simple construct: Airmen caring for Airmen.

“An Airman, who cared for other Airmen, had an idea to help professionally develop other Airmen,” said Lt. Col. Josephine Beacham, 436th AMXS commander. “I looked him in the eyes and asked ‘How are you going to execute?’ This simple question challenged him and he took it and ran with it, creating this Whole Airman Festival that far exceeded my expectations. As his commander, all I did was challenge him and support him.”

That one Airman was Senior Airman Joshua Foley, 436th AMXS C-5M Super Galaxy electrical and environmental specialist and IRT member, who aimed at helping all Dover AFB members with the festival.

“The target audience [was] anyone…who had the desire to improve, whether professionally or in their personal endeavors,” said Foley. “Anyone who wants to know about education or on-base resources is the target audience.”

One of the attendees, Staff Sgt. Jenniffer Bruce, 436th Aerial Port Squadron reserve coordinator, appreciated the chance to make contact with so many helping agencies.

“I think this is great, getting our resources out to the Airmen, especially our new Airmen that just arrived at the base. I wanted to come out today and see if there were any new resources available, which I did see.”

Beacham echoed the positive sentiments regarding the festival and the leadership displayed by the squadron’s IRT.

“There are two key aspects to the vision of our squadron…trust and empowerment,” said Beacham. “I gave my commander’s intent to this IRT a year ago and trusted and empowered them to execute. When you as a leader do that for your people, they do amazing things like this festival. I’m so proud of the team that put this together.”