OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea --
U.S. Air Force Col. John Gonzales, 51st Fighter Wing commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Adam Vizi, 51st FW command chief, hosted a series of all-calls Aug. 12 marking the beginning of Gonzales’ tenure.
Among the topics discussed were upcoming base events, commander’s priorities and resiliency.
Gonzalez laid out his priorities as readiness, teamwork and comradery. In line with his third priority, Gonzales plans to start a Mustang Resiliency Campaign, an ongoing effort beginning on the Resilience Tactical Pause day.
The 51st FW is slated to pause Aug. 30 to fulfill U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Dave Goldfein’s order for every wing to stand down for a day and focus on resiliency and suicide prevention.
“This day will give all of our Airmen the day to get to know each other and build unit cohesion,” Gonzales said. “This will help us understand each other and what drives us, and to learn more about the helping agencies on base that are there for us. This will help us understand why we still have barriers to going and seeking help. Most importantly, it will help us figure out what is working and what isn’t working and what we need to change.”
Gonzalez played a heart-felt message from Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright on the topic.
“So as [Wright] said, this is our problem,” he said. “This is something we have to wrap our arms around and figure out together. It’s not one single group, which means there’s no one single answer.”
According to recent data, 79 Airmen have taken their lives this year, 28 more than this point in time last year.
“If we don’t do something, we could lose up to 150 to 160 Airmen in 2019,” Wright said in a video posted Aug. 1. “We can’t let this keep happening.”
Gonzales mentioned while this Resilience Tactical Pause day is mandatory across the Air Force, individual units will be able to determine amongst themselves how they see fit to effectively spend their day discussing problems and potential solutions to help end this ongoing tragedy.