An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Maxwell AFB Operational Support Team Opens Centralized Training Center

  • Published
  • By Staff Sergeant Crystal Jenkins
  • 42nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

The Operational Support Team at the 42nd Air Base Wing announced in early April that it had not only met its goal of becoming fully operational, but has also opened a new centralized resiliency center.

The primary goal of the team’s home base is to decrease delays in getting comprehensive health and wellness care and individualized support without having to access the Medical Group every single time a slight change or need arises.

This area is open to all active-duty members from that designated unit who want to improve their strength and conditioning, mental health, diet or overall physical well-being.

“In the future the resources provided to the units will fluctuate by the unit driven teams, the teams are comprised of a team specialist which is also an athletic trainer, a dietician, a social worker, a psychologist, a strength and conditioning coach, and a physical therapist,” said Holly Gerstner, OST Team Specialist. “Each team will always have an active-duty physical training component and we are always looking to see if the design of our team is going to increase effectiveness to see if we can impact affectable profiles. The data will always drive us towards the most at-risk unit that needs our services and who can gain the most benefit from them.” 

The centralized resiliency center for OST offers the following: 

  • Individualized unit PT classes. 

  • Teaches/promotes injury prevention. 

  • Mobility classes. 

  • Unit health optimization. 

  • Physical therapy. 

  • Body composition testing. 

“Each unit has their own unique culture so when we are establishing our services with a new unit, we have to be consistent and persistent around the clock to get familiarized with the entire unit,” said Capt. Ben Schmitt, Physical Therapist with the 42nd ABW OST, is currently embedded with the 42nd Security Forces Squadron. “Usually, it takes us about a month to get fully acquainted and look at all the variables, to see what a full day really looks like for them. This helps us to get a true gauge on what type of interventions we need to provide that will specifically benefit that unit.” 

The OST initiative extends throughout the Air Force to more than 75 bases worldwide, with the 711th Wing out of Wright Patterson Air Force Base overseeing the data analytics. These dedicated teams undertake 3–6-month assignments using data-driven strategies to identify and assist at-risk units, using a targeted approach with a long-game strategy to improving airmen readiness and mission capability. 

“We don’t just want to see the fancy, cool stuff that your unit does, we want the daily nitty gritty stuff,” continued Gerstner. “More often than not that is probably where your problems are lying. They are often the things that can be analyzed, fixed and bring the most benefit to the individual and ultimately the unit.” 

Some of the common issues that the team looks at addressing in office settings are things that office workers could benefit from asking themselves across every unit. For instance, are you sitting at the correct height? Are you getting up and walking once an hour? Are you drinking enough water on a daily basis? These are minor but impactful changes that can be meaningful to a unit’s readiness.

The team’s scope of care also includes mental health: by building rapport with Airmen, the OST can impart crucial resilience-building and preventive skills to avert issues that could also impact unit readiness and welfare.