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    110th Attack Wing chaplain corps supports Northern Strike 18

    110th Attack Wing chaplain corps supports Northern Strike 18

    Photo By Airman 1st Class Tiffany Clark | The chaplain corps from the 110th Attack Wing, Battle Creek Mich., assist every year...... read more read more



    Story by Airman 1st Class Tiffany Clark 

    110th Attack Wing

    Resilience is a skill that is necessary as a military service member, no matter what branch of service, rank, or job title. The better the member is with maintaining their resilience, the healthier they will be mentally, physically, and emotionally when it comes to coping with the everyday stressors of a job in the U.S. armed forces. The chaplain corps from the 110th Attack Wing, Battle Creek Air National Guard Base, Mich., assist every year with the largest National Guard training exercise, Northern Strike, to provide council and teach participants how to sharpen their resiliency skills as well as lend an ear to those struggling.

    “My job is to make sure that the service members here have the things that they need to remain on top of their game,” said Maj. Courtland Pitt, chaplain for the 110 ATKW. “We operate by trying to engage with the service members as much as possible so that we are available and are out meeting the people and learning their needs.”
    According to the Air Force, being holistically healthy is the key to being fit to fight.

    “When people are operating to the full capacity within the other health pillars of the Air Force, emotionally, physically, and spiritually, then you’re probably going to do your job better and be a better wingman,” said Tech. Sgt. John J. Slocum, Religious Affairs Specialist (RAS) from the 110 ATKW.

    The 110 ATKW chaplain corps covers Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center in their service area, which helps them make connections during exercises like Northern Strike 18.

    Northern Strike 18 is a National Guard Bureau-sponsored exercise uniting service members from many states, multiple service branches and a number of coalition countries during the first three weeks of August 2018 at the Camp Grayling Joint Maneuver Training Center and the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center, both located in northern Michigan and operated by the Michigan National Guard. The accredited Joint National Training Capabilities exercise demonstrates the Michigan National Guard's ability to provide accessible, readiness-building opportunities for military units from all service branches to achieve and sustain proficiency in conducting mission command, air, sea, and ground maneuver integration, together with the synchronization of fires in a joint, multinational, decisive action environment.

    “We come up here a couple of times a year to provide services and develop relationships with the regular working staff,” said Slocum. “That way, when they have this exercise, they have the support system in place to deal issues that may come up. The commanders came together with the first sergeants and came to the conclusion that it would be advantageous to have chapel staff here.”

    The individual roles of the chapel staff are beneficial to service members, but they meet their full potential when they work at exercises like Northern Strike 18.

    “My key role is to support Chaplain Pitt in carrying out spiritual care,” said Slocum. “We work in what is called a Religious support team (RST). The Air Force model is that we should work in these teams consisting of a minimum of one chaplain and one RAS.”

    This RST has been working Northern Strike for four years; they have been taking care of not just Airmen but the other services as well.

    “My job is to operate within the guidelines of chaplaincy,” said Pitt. “I engage with all of the service men and women who are supporting Northern Strike 18. We call it the ‘ministry of presence,’ so we go out and introduce ourselves and talk with service people from all of the branches, allowing them to build a relationship with us and know that we are here if they need anything.”

    Although they are working hard to get service people the care that they need, the RST also has fun doing their jobs.

    “The most rewarding part of my job is meeting the people, learning about what they do, where they come from, their units, their skill and their gifts,” said Pitt. “I enjoy making sure they understand how valuable they are and just care for them.”



    Date Taken: 08.10.2018
    Date Posted: 08.11.2018 19:08
    Story ID: 288378
    Location: MI, US

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