GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas --
The essence of partnership is a relationship; a relationship is risk. In the current pandemic, we’ve seen communities, workforces, teams, families, and neighbors come together building relationships.
But how do we continue to venture into an unknown in which the stakes are higher than ever before, the threat to military and civilians is real, and the “enemy” of COVID-19 is not well understood? It requires us to take a risk.
The foundation we have at Goodfellow AFB and in San Angelo, at every level, is one of unity. We’ve led the Air Force since 2014, in having the most agreements with our community, but it is so much more. In reality, and applicable beyond our official partnership program, our relationships, partnerships, and agreements laid the groundwork for our joint response to the present situation. We are truly blessed; we don’t have to build relationships from scratch but can wholeheartedly rely upon our previous investments to forge creative solutions to the present challenges. To successfully persevere through this, we rely on building and maintaining, which, especially now, requires risk.
Risk is the ability and willingness to take a small leap to help others achieve things in a better, faster, more efficient way. Risk is an investment and demands we bounce back and keep going, try new things, innovate and push past the naysayers, staying focused on the goal of maintaining connection in crisis. It requires humility in knowing we don’t have the whole answer and vulnerability in admitting that to others. We must be willing to venture out, apply our skills, and admit to our teams we do not have all the solutions but together we may find one.
Risk is an opening up of oneself through transparency and vulnerability. Top Air Force leaders are taking risks in encouraging open dialogue via Town Halls, live Q & A sessions, and teleconferences. We’ve seen military families and civilian neighbors create connections through art chalk walks, food runs, and tasks being accomplished mysteriously to help those in need. We’ve witnessed medical professionals take daily risks in going into work, not knowing what awaits…adequate supplies, overwhelming cases of patients, and everyday stressors. Military instructors are taking risks in establishing hybrid and virtual learning course material and adapting current learning methods to large populations, while working in the classroom, managing student and personal fears. We’ve seen our MTLs going above and beyond trying to develop opportunities for our Air Force family who are restricted to base with limited activities. We’ve used ingenuity to create supplies like hand-sewn masks, 312th Training Squadron 3D printed face shields, and new support agreements, developing deeper connections to mutually assist one another. These are risks you are taking, and they are being seen. We see you.
Going forward, to maintain relationships and partnerships, we must take a risk and be honest, transparent, and vulnerable. Being vulnerable is courageous. Courage unites us through tough times as a team. That is the spirit of a partnership and the spirit of our Air Force Family.