Touchdown! Vandenberg scores with Wingman Day
By Airman Robert J. Volio, 30th Space Wing Public Affairs
/ Published October 10, 2014
VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- It's game day at Vandenberg Air Force Base on Oct. 9. Before kickoff, every team hosts a pregame huddle to go over their respective game plan. Players have been preparing for weeks, their anticipation at an all-time high. After their final pep talks, each team hits the field.
The game is underway -- Wingman Day has begun.
Wingman Day is held twice a year to provide Airmen an opportunity to build morale and camaraderie through team-building exercises. The themes of this year's Wingman Day are Air Force core values and football.
"Wingman Day is a day to stand down and think about ourselves and each other," said Pauline Chui, 30th Space Wing community support coordinator and Wingman Day planner. "We're going to have discussions with each other that'll help enhance our social skills and relationships with each other. We help build unit cohesion by getting to know one another outside of work in a more casual atmosphere."
Squadron-level commanders' calls were held to kick off the first quarter. Unit leaders ran down the day's schedule with their teams before breaking up into groups to participate in Comprehensive Airmen Fitness Camps during the second quarter. During the camps, base personnel participated in challenges such as "Building Your Character Game-Plan" and a personality test. Some results of the personality test were disputed, while others seemed to be spot on.
"The personality test was absolutely right about me," said Staff Sgt. Preston Nealy, 30th SW Judge Advocate NCOIC. "Everybody in my office would agree with the results of my test."
After halftime, members of VAFB continued with the themes of football and AF core values with an Ultimate Tailgate barbecue. During the barbecue, each unit designed their tailgate area to depict the core values in their eyes.
"As Airmen, you need to focus on those core values constantly," said Chui. "Sometimes we may forget or get sloppy so it's good to have a day to just get together and remember who we are, why we're here and focus on the core values."
At the start of the fourth quarter, the scene shifted from the tailgate to the base track for the first-ever Hawk Bowl. Five-member teams participated in four combine drills centered on team-building and the four Comprehensive Airmen Fitness domains: physical, mental, social and spiritual. The day was competitive throughout and when the dust finally settled, it was the 30th Security Forces Squadron that emerged the victors of the Hawk Bowl.
"The combine went our way, just like we planned," said Staff Sgt. Benjamin Perry, 30th SFS visitor control center pass and identification personnel. "Today was great. Events like this bring out the best in everyone. It brings out the togetherness. This is such a big base, everyone is so spread out, and it's good to see everyone come together and rally for these types of events."
Col. Keith Balts, 30th SW commander, adorned the winners of Wingman Day with medals and trophies before addressing the crowd in attendance to conclude the day's events. However, the fun didn't stop there.
"The turnout today was fantastic," said Chief Master Sgt. William "DJ" Jones, 30th SW Command Chief. "As you heard Col. Balts say, there are 3,500 people in the wing and there may have been 3,500 people here today, it was absolutely tremendous. As I'm standing here talking right now, there are still units over there jumping around, rallying around one another. That camaraderie didn't stop when Col. Balts finished speaking. That camaraderie, as you can see, still exists and will continue to - long after we've wrapped things up today."