Chiefs' group at MHAFB start Airmen Outreach Initiative
By Airman Natalie Rubenak, 366th Fighter Wing
/ Published December 10, 2019
MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho -- Joining the military comes with quite a few challenges.
You are in a new environment, meeting new people and trying to learn a new job. There are times when your family isn’t a phone call away. Despite all of the new obstacles, Airmen don’t have to do it alone.
Chiefs here have made taking care of their Airmen a top priority by starting the Airmen Outreach Initiative.
Once a quarter, the Chiefs group of MHAFB comes together and schedules an event for enlisted personnel which includes barbecuing with the SNCOs, bowling with the NCOs and video game tournaments with junior enlisted Airmen.
In the past, the Chiefs group would host different events where Airmen would come, eat and then leave which was not what they were looking to achieve. They want an environment where Airmen feel welcomed.
After some consideration, leadership decided to switch things up and start hosting events where Airmen were able to build stronger relationships with Chiefs.
“We want to have important conversations and give mentorship opportunities,” said Chief Master Sgt. Mike Waller, 366th Fighter Wing Medical Treatment Facility superintendent. “They can come get something to eat, ask some of those burning questions they have and get a Chief’s perspective.”
Waller explained that he had a few Airmen that he remembered from the Outreach events.
“I recognized a few Airmen who attended the events from when I was an Airman Leadership School mentor,” Waller said. “It is just another opportunity for me to give them a piece of advice or answers those questions they have.”
The Chiefs do their best to go above and beyond when it comes to outreach. Chief Master Sgt. Wendell Snider, 366th Fighter Wing command chief makes it his top priority.
Every Friday morning, Snider and base leadership recognize a “Gunfighter of the Week”. The Airman’s supervisor submits a request and the Airman is coined in front of their peers for their hard work and dedication.
By randomly dropping into different work centers, Snider makes sure that he knows what the Airmen need while getting to know more about them.
“Once a week we check into Airman's work centers and talk to them,” Snider said. “We find that Airmen really appreciate wing leadership coming out to their work centers and getting to know them.”
Without the support of leadership, Airmen’s morale and motivation may begin to diminish. Base leadership ensures their Airmen are growing and working towards their goals. They continue to build future leaders whether it’s social events or just taking the time to listen to them.
“It is an absolute honor to be afforded the privilege to serve Airmen,” Snider said.