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UTANG Wingman Day focuses on family readiness, providing resources

Senior Airman Brody Sanzone, a firefighter with the 151st Civil Engineering Squadron, helps a young girl direct a fire hose toward an orange traffic cone to simulate extinguishing a fire during Wingman Day on June 10, 2017 at Roland R. Wright Air National Guard Base in Salt Lake City. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Amber Monio)

Senior Airman Brody Sanzone, a firefighter with the 151st Civil Engineering Squadron, helps a young girl direct a fire hose toward an orange traffic cone to simulate extinguishing a fire during Wingman Day on June 10, 2017 at Roland R. Wright Air National Guard Base in Salt Lake City. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Amber Monio)

Lt. Col. David DeAngelis, a Reserve F-35 pilot from the 419th Fighter Wing at Hill Air Force Base, talks with Utah Air National Guard Airmen and their family members during Wingman Day on June 10, 2017 at Roland R. Wright Air National Guard Base. Hill AFB provided an F-35 Lightning II aircraft and an F-16 Fighting Falcon as static displays for the event, which drew more than 1,000 guests to the Guard base in Salt Lake City. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Amber Monio)

Lt. Col. David DeAngelis, a Reserve F-35 pilot from the 419th Fighter Wing at Hill Air Force Base, talks with Utah Air National Guard Airmen and their family members during Wingman Day on June 10, 2017 at Roland R. Wright Air National Guard Base. Hill AFB provided an F-35 Lightning II aircraft and an F-16 Fighting Falcon as static displays for the event, which drew more than 1,000 guests to the Guard base in Salt Lake City. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Amber Monio)

Utah Air National Guard Airmen and their families tour a KC-135R Stratotanker and view other static aircraft displays, including an F-16 Fighting Falcon and F-35 Lightning II from Hill Air Force Base, during Wingman Day on June 10, 2017 at Roland R. Wright Air National Guard Base in Salt Lake City. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Amber Monio)

Utah Air National Guard Airmen and their families tour a KC-135R Stratotanker and view other static aircraft displays, including an F-16 Fighting Falcon and F-35 Lightning II from Hill Air Force Base, during Wingman Day on June 10, 2017 at Roland R. Wright Air National Guard Base in Salt Lake City. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Amber Monio)

SALT LAKE CITY --

More than 1,000 Airmen and their family members participated in the Utah Air National Guard’s annual Wingman Day at Roland R. Wright Air National Guard Base here on June 10, 2017.

This year’s event was focused around the theme “Are you ready? We’re ready”, which was aimed at highlighting the importance of family readiness.

“The [theme] is a great way to think about Comprehensive Airman Fitness,” said Brig. Gen. Christine Burckle, Utah Air National Guard commander. “Don’t forget the question ‘Are you ready?’ applies to not only you, but also every member of your family.”

Throughout the day, attendees were able to participate in several fun activities, such as an obstacle course, a fitness challenge, bounce houses, a slip and slide, face painting, making crafts, donning a flight suit for a photo opportunity on the flight line, touring a KC-135R Stratotanker, and visiting F-35 and F-16 static aircraft displays.  In addition, more than 20 community partners set up resource booths in the South Hangar with information for Airmen and their families to assess and improve their overall readiness.

“The booths were presented as a resource fair where members could get one-on-one attention [and accomplish] Wingman Day and Yellow Ribbon at the same time (with slightly different requirements),” said Col. Kristin Streukens, 151st Air Refueling Wing commander. “Each squadron had their own activities planned based on the perceived needs of the organization, which is in line with the Chief of Staff of the Air Force’s goal of ‘Revitalizing the Squadrons’.”

Prior to the events, Burckle asked Airmen if they and their families were “ready”—for a domestic emergency, a personal emergency, a financial need, physical and mental challenges, and their military duty and civilian job. The goal of Wingman Day, she said, was to have Airmen explore the various resources, spend quality time with their unit and their families, and identify areas they and their families can work on so they can say "We’re ready!” with confidence.

While walking around the base, some for the first time, families were also given an opportunity to see where various Utah Air Guard assets and resources were located. According to Streukens, the intent was to have family members feel more comfortable coming to the base if/when they need support from their service member’s unit.

“Our Wing has a constant responsibility for support of domestic, conventional and nuclear missions,” said Streukens. “The Wing and community provide a lot of family support and resources and we wanted to educate our families on what we offer.”

Fortunately, those who may have missed out on the festivities this year are in luck. Streukens said all the group commanders recently voted to change next year's Unit Training Assembly schedule so this type of Wingman Day event will become an annual occurrence.