News: Comprehensive Airman Fitness: As part of the CAF culture, think of your base auto hobby shop
By Senior Airman Natasha E. Stannard
FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. - The auto hobby shop at Fairchild Air Force Base provides base members with "affordable and convenient" means to modify and keep personal vehicles running.
"Basically what we do is provide a place for people to either get or make repairs to their vehicles," said Ed Tuell, auto hobby shop manager. "Our mission is to serve the troops and save them money."
Fairchild AFB's auto hobby shop is a 21-bay facility with 10 lifts and a full line of tools available for do it yourself repairs. It's open from Mondays through Saturdays like many other bases in the Air Force.
"The location and cost are convenient," said Andrew Haynes, a customer here on temporary duty to Fairchild AFB. "They have everything you need and the staff is very helpful. This is my first time here, so they explained where everything was and how things operate."
Shops like these also offer auto hobby classes and provide customers space to rent out to work on their own vehicles and supply them with tools to do so. If patrons have problems with anything they're right there to help.
"I come here to change my oil because they have all the tools, which would cost a lot to purchase on your own, that you need," said Airman 1st Class Gerome Vaden, Fairchild AFB customer. "I'm also planning to do some engine work and paint job, and the auto center allows me the time and the place."
Along with providing customers all these services, they also supply an environmentally safe means to dispose of engine oil.
"Changing your oil here is a great deal for the price and provides a responsible means to dispose of it," said Tech. Sgt. Henry James, also a Fairchild AFB auto hobby shop customer. "By changing it here, I don't have to buy any special containers to dispose of it because they take care of that for you."
Auto hobby shops like these not only support those at Fairchild, but it also supports families of deployed members by providing them with vouchers for car care, which can be picked up at base airman family readiness centers.
Having places like auto hobby shops also serve as part of the Comprehensive Airman Fitness culture which began in July 2010 at Air Mobility Command. Officials said CAF is not a program, "but an approach to better equip airmen and their families to handle stress."
"Comprehensive Airman Fitness reflects our commitment to developing a holistic approach to caring for our people that equips, enables and empowers everyone to grow more physically, socially, mentally and spiritually fit," Gen. Raymond E. Johns, Jr., AMC commander said about CAF in 2010. "It's not another program, but rather, a means to enhance mission effectiveness by intentionally investing in one another."
The CAF culture is built upon "four pillars" -- physical, social, mental and spiritual fitness -- and the five "Cs" -- caring, committing, communicating, connecting and celebrating, officials said.
In January, wing commanders and command chief master sergeants took part in a one-day, first-of-its-kind, Air Mobility Command-wide conference on Comprehensive Airman Fitness at Scott Air Force Base, Ill. The conference addressed the need for focusing on airmen, their families and the overall Air Force community -- especially at the base level where places like auto hobby shops help airmen and their families. Unanimously, the conference attendees agreed to further build on improving their base communities in whatever ways they can, according to Air Mobility Command news report.
"It was an honor to host this important conference at the 'Showcase Wing,'" said Col. Michael Hornitschek, 375th Air Mobility Wing Commander at Scott AFB, who with Col. Donald Shaffer, 319th Air Refueling Wing Commander at Grand Forks AFB, N.D., took the lead on the conference agenda and discussion. "This conference helped to further strengthen our CAF culture that includes taking care of airmen, civilians and family members so they can take care of the mission and each other.
"As leaders, we want people to know that AMC cares about you and your families," Hornitschek said. "We also want you to know the more resilient you are, the better equipped you are to deal with the rigors of military life. We don't want to just survive through challenging times -- we want to thrive."
(Master Sgt. Scott T. Sturkol, Air Mobility Command Public Affairs at Scott Air Force Base, Ill., contributed to this report.)