Schriever implements new CAF guidance
By Scott Prater, Schriever Sentinel
/ Published April 30, 2014
SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Team Schriever members have become familiar with the idea of Comprehensive Airman Fitness during the past couple of years. The Air Force program is a holistic approach to developing over-arching Airman fitness and resilience.
Until now, CAF trainers and program executives have operated without a specified guidance plan, however, the Air Force recently issued Air Force Instruction 90-506, establishing CAF as a bona fide program and issuing guidance for not only commanders, but trainers and support personnel.
"The new CAF purpose is awesome," said Jena Bienia, Schriever community support coordinator and per the AFI, Schriever's CAF specialist and facilitator. "The AFI provides support for the entire resilience program in the Air Force. That's what we're honing in on - resilience for military members, civilians and their families."
The AFI provides a purpose, defines a policy, lays out a strategy and creates an official framework for the CAF program at command and installation levels.
"It spells out a lot of aspects to CAF that we've been doing so far," Bienia said. "But, It also breaks down some responsibilities for commanders, community support coordinators, master resilience trainers and resilience training assistants."
Schriever currently has four MRTs, 13 RTAs and two recently trained key spouses.
"The recent AFI release will be especially beneficial for commanders on base," Bienia said. "They now know that they can call for a resilience trainer at any time. If they are having a commander's call and want resilience to be a part of it, even for 15 to 20 minutes, they can reach out to me or any of our MRTs to help them facilitate the training."
Key spouses will also now play a larger role in CAF at the local level. A key directive of AFI 90-506 requires that all key spouses complete at least one hour of resiliency training. The community support coordinator and MRTs have conducted two classes for spouses and will conduct more on an as need basis.
Master Resilience Trainers will do a large part of the heavy lifting in regard to CAF. They'll teach the 8-hour resilience course at the First Term Airmen Center once each month, conduct regular RTA workshops and play a key role in unit resilience sessions during wingman days.
As Master Sgt. Darrin Donovan can readily confirm, performing the role of an MRT is fulfilling additional duty. The 50th Security Forces training NCO in charge, says he spends at least two days a month training resilience to Schriever Airmen. Yet, he's thrilled to play such an important role.
"I think this is something the Air Force has been missing for a long time," he said. "We have been reactive to Airmen, whatever they may be struggling with, be it work- or family-related stress, operations or deployment tempo. We were reacting to those issues afterward and that oftentimes fell on the shoulders of first sergeants and airman and family readiness personnel. Now, [with CAF] we're trying to be proactive. We're trying to give Airmen the skills they need to deal with situations long before they become issues."
Schriever's upcoming Wingman/Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Stand-Down Week is scheduled for May 12-16. Airmen should anticipate seeing MRTs, RTAs and base helping agency representatives in their units.
"The lessons they teach help foster a culture of Airmen taking care of Airmen," said Bienia.