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Preparing our team for the COVID fight

Col. Jeff Edwards Portrait

U.S. Air Force Col. Jeff Edwards is the commander of the 173rd Fighter Wing at Kingsley Field in Klamath Falls, Oregon. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Airman First Class Adam Smith)

KINGSLEY FIELD, Ore. --

Team Kingsley,

The COVID-19 fight has created stress and anxiety like we’ve never seen.    The battle front is not in a distant place, but rather in our homeland, our communities.    It not only impacts us as Airmen,  it impacts our families.    This adds a component of stress and anxiety that many of us have not seen in our lifetime.  While we don’t know exactly how long this battle will last, I want to assure you that we will do everything we can to take care of you and your family. 

People are our #1 Priority.  Caring for our people is our #1 priority.    Despite this raging battle with an uncertain timeline,  we all need to be strong and resilient.   That will not be easy.    This will require us to stay connected and resilient, and to be aware of our fellow teammates,  even when alternate work schedules and telework reduce our ability to connect and care for each other.   Since telework and new work schedules reduce the amount of in-person time we have, we will need to be more proactive about using phone calls, texts and social media to stay connected to our teammates. 

There is Help and there is Hope.   If we are feeling stressed or anxious,  there is help and there is hope.    First of all,  let’s reach out to a teammate for support and help.    Second,  we need to be strong and ask for help.    Asking for help from our supervisor and  from a member of the resiliency team is a sign of STRENGTH.   We are not alone -- we have teammates and an INCREDIBLE team of resiliency experts (DPH, Chaplain, SARC, Airman & Family Readiness, and Yellow Ribbon) that are standing by and ready to help.    We need to have the courage to ASK-CARE-ESCORT (ACE) like we have learned in our Resiliency Training and Suicide Prevention training.     And, we all need to remember the words of our Creed:  “I will never leave an Airman behind.”   These words need to live in our hearts and actions, in what we say and what we do to care for each other.

Staying informed can help minimize anxiety and stress.   We will keep you informed of projected timeline and modeling data that has been endorsed by CDC,  ANG, USAF and DoD.    Having an understanding of where we are going,  when we expect the battle to peak, and when it may end,  will all help to alleviate stress and anxiety.  We are working to gather this information to share with you and keep you informed. 

Regular exercise,  eating right, and getting sleep are essential.   Fitness needs to be a priority and is an essential component of Comprehensive Airman’s Fitness!   We all need to schedule fitness time as part of our daily routine – it helps keep our bodies and minds healthy.   Exercise can help release stress and bring balance to our lives.   Proper nutrition and sleep are just as important.   In the coming days there will be more information from our Resiliency Experts on how to overcome and productively deal with feelings of isolation.   For many resources go to https://www.173fw.ang.af.mil/COVID-19/ and reference the FAMILY INFO & RESOURCES in the center of the page.

The Fight Ahead.   Plan on being in this COVID-19 fight for 2-3 months.   We will get in a battle rhythm of our new work schedules,  we will stay connected,  and we will take care of each other.    We will continue our mission-essential F-15 training, and we will be prepared to support the State when requested.

Thank you for being great teammates and serving so well for our State and Nation.    

Team Kingsley is a strong team and family that supports each other.  We will get through this together.