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Alamo Wing pauses for resiliency

Chaplain (Capt.) Matthew A. Hanzelka, 433rd Airlift Wing chaplain, crawls across an obstacle during a team-building exercise at the 433rd AW Resilience Tactical Pause at the Air Force Basic Military Training’s Basic Expeditionary Airman Skills Training site at the Medina Annex, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas Nov. 3, 2019.

Chaplain (Capt.) Matthew A. Hanzelka, 433rd Airlift Wing chaplain, crawls across an obstacle during a team-building exercise at the 433rd AW Resilience Tactical Pause at the Air Force Basic Military Training’s Basic Expeditionary Airman Skills Training site at the Medina Annex, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas Nov. 3, 2019. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Kristian Carter)

Senior Master Sgt. Leonard E. Vidal, 433rd Maintenance Group plans and schedule supervisor, high-crawls through sand during a team-building exercise at the 433rd AW Resilience Tactical Pause at the Air Force Basic Military Training’s Basic Expeditionary Airman Skills Training site at the Medina Annex, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas Nov. 3, 2019.

Senior Master Sgt. Leonard E. Vidal, 433rd Maintenance Group plans and schedule supervisor, high-crawls through sand during a team-building exercise at the 433rd AW Resilience Tactical Pause at the Air Force Basic Military Training’s Basic Expeditionary Airman Skills Training site at the Medina Annex, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas Nov. 3, 2019. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Kristian Carter)

Staff Sgt. Bradley A. Hanks, 433rd Security Forces Squadron, crawls across an obstacle during a team-building exercise at the 433rd AW Resilience Tactical Pause at the Air Force Basic Military Training’s Basic Expeditionary Airman Skills Training site at the Medina Annex, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas Nov. 3, 2019.

Staff Sgt. Bradley A. Hanks, 433rd Security Forces Squadron, crawls across an obstacle during a team-building exercise at the 433rd AW Resilience Tactical Pause at the Air Force Basic Military Training’s Basic Expeditionary Airman Skills Training site at the Medina Annex, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas Nov. 3, 2019. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Lauren, M. Snyder)

Staff Sgt. Alexis J. Kempel, 433rd Force Support Squadron force management technician, crosses the monkey bars during the 433rd Airlift Wing Resilience Tactical Pause at the Air Force Basic Military Training’s Basic Expeditionary Airman Skills Training site at the Medina Annex, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas Nov. 3, 2019.

Staff Sgt. Alexis J. Kempel, 433rd Force Support Squadron force management technician, crosses the monkey bars during the 433rd Airlift Wing Resilience Tactical Pause at the Air Force Basic Military Training’s Basic Expeditionary Airman Skills Training site at the Medina Annex, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas Nov. 3, 2019. (Courtesy photo by Michelle McCord)

Retired Chaplain (Col.) Scott Ofsdahl, speaks to the 433rd Airlift Wing during their Resilience Tactical Pause at the Air Force Basic Military Training’s Basic Expeditionary Airman Skills Training site at the Medina Annex, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas Nov. 3, 2019.

Retired Chaplain (Col.) Scott Ofsdahl, speaks to the 433rd Airlift Wing during their Resilience Tactical Pause at the Air Force Basic Military Training’s Basic Expeditionary Airman Skills Training site at the Medina Annex, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas Nov. 3, 2019. Ofsdahl is currently the chaplain career management branch chief at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Lauren, M. Snyder)

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas --

The 433rd Airlift Wing participated in a “Resilience Tactical Pause” at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland Nov. 3.

More than 1500 Alamo Wing enlisted, officer, and civilian members arrived to the Air Force Basic Military Training’s Basic Expeditionary Airman Skills Training site at the JBSA-Lackland's Medina Annex.

After breakfast, Col. Terry W. McClain, 433rd AW commander; Chief Master Sgt. Shana C. Cullum, 433rd AW command chief. Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Theodore C. Nicholson, 433rd AW wing chaplain; and Chaplain (Maj.) Jesse M. Howard, 433rd AW deputy wing chaplain; offered opening remarks before keynote speaker retired Chaplain (Col.) Scott Ofsdahl, took the stage.

“Everyone in here is a wingman to each and everyone else here,” Howard said. “Yes, you have chaplains and mental health people; we have all kinds of resources but each of you know each other and you know how to help each other. You know when somebody looks awful and is having a bad day and how to get that person through it. That's what this is all about; helping each other get through it.”

Fostering a greater sense of team and family while invoking friendly competition was the theme for the resilience tactical pause.

“The reason all units, Air Force-wide, are having functions like this, is because of the veteran suicides that are happening today,” Ofsdahl said. “According to 2019 statistics, there are 17 veteran suicides that happen every single day. That’s 510 veterans that die by suicide every month. When you add up just the last six years that 36,000 veteran suicides.”

Ofsdahl continued by offering four points to staying resilient.

“What I'm about to do today is just give you four resilience keys I hope will help you find your inner strength and a way to work through some of the hurdles with your life. None of us are exempt from the battlefield of the heart mind and soul, which happens every single day.

So what are the Four Keys?

  • First: What do you struggle with and where do you get your strength?
  • Second: What gives your life purpose and meaning is the foundation of all your resilience?
  • Third: Who you trust and what you believe can change your life?
  • Finally: A thankful attitude is so critically important

Don’t curse the darkness. Be a light in somebody's darkness. I hope this journey of increasing and strengthening resilience puts you on a firm foundation.”

Following the speakers, units moved to the obstacle course for some team-building and competition. Each unit was represented by a four-person team, who would run the course. The teams were competing for the lowest time to complete four of the obstacles from the course.

After the obstacle course, everyone regrouped for closing remarks and winning team announcement.

The wing then broke into individual units to continue building unit cohesiveness, wingmanship, and resilience.

“Resiliency is one of the most important things in life because if you are resilient you can bounce back from anything life throws at you to handle things even in impossible situations,” Howard said. “If you don’t feel you can get through, there is always someone who can help you get through. If you have a good purpose and foundation, you can overcome anything.”

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