Civilian Airmen serve as wingmen, lending support in community

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WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio — Civilian Airmen, as well as military Airmen, serve as wingmen in their military communities.

Opportunities continue to arise for them to act as force multipliers to intervene and support one another.

More than 60 percent of the recent, documented wingman interventions by Air Force Materiel Command personnel were made by civilian Airmen.

When a valve blew, and a piece of it was embedded in the jaw of a worker, a civilian Airman intervened.

When two employees were injured in a four-vehicle accident, a civilian assisted and followed the victim’s progress through to their hospital release.

In another case, a civilian working an equal opportunity complaint interpreted statements made as those of an employee at risk of suicide and notified the individual’s leadership.

A civilian was paging through her Facebook feed and recognized posts made by an acquaintance were those of a person at risk. She took action through the local police by getting an address and approval to visit. Reaching out and listening for hours potentially saved a life.

A health intervention also occurred when an Airman on duty in the Military Personnel Force Management Section noticed an older man with a heart monitor breathing heavily while in the waiting area. When she asked if he needed help, he said that he left his inhaler in the car and was unable to walk back for it.

The Airman placed the man in a wheelchair, made sure he was alright and went to his car to retrieve the inhaler. Finally, she wheeled him to the office he intended to visit.

A wingman arrived at his new duty station, and a few friends decided to take him out to eat and for drinks. The evening was going well until he noticed a female in the group, who had already had enough to drink, was being encouraged by one of the males to drink more.

Although he did not know the female well, the wingman encouraged her to drink water. When the Airman told the other man she was leaving with him, the man backed off. The wingman saw the female safely home.

When a co-worker appeared to be suddenly ill, a civilian wingman sat down his co-worker and assessed her situation. He learned she was preparing to go to a scheduled doctor’s appointment.

He stayed engaged with his coworker and monitored her. When he was sure she had recovered enough to make the short drive to her appointment, he assisted her to her car and requested she provide confirmation of her safe arrival. This wingman’s ability to detect signs of distress ensured a safe zone for the employee to access proper aid.