New WPAFB program fortifies squadrons, units through group recreation

The Unite Program was designed to support squadron commanders in maximizing the use of Force Support facilities to measure impact and to provide maximum flexibility to squadron commanders.

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The Unite Program was designed to support squadron commanders in maximizing the use of Force Support facilities to measure impact and to provide maximum flexibility to squadron commanders.

Building and strengthening cohesion within squadrons is what the new Air Force Unite Initiative aims to achieve through group team-building events and various community-based activities and programs.

The Unite Initiative is a new, global Air Force program created to aid the Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein’s focus on the revitalizing squadrons.

Derived from the Unite initiative, the Unite Program was designed to support squadron commanders in maximizing the use of Force Support facilities to measure impact and to provide maximum flexibility to squadron commanders.

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Katie Brakeville, community cohesion coordinator, also known as the C3, coordinates the 88th Air Base Wing Unite Program at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Brakeville’s charge is to support squadron commanders in helping their units develop new skills or competencies, improve physical fitness, promote interaction between unit members, reinforce peer, squadron or Air Force corps values and even provide an opportunity for fun and relaxation.

“C3s manage the Unite Program overall and are here to assist commanders in facilitating unit cohesion events and activities,” said Brakeville.

To get the program started and funding loaded, the program was launched in three phases, which specifically outline when various units are able to participate.

Phase One launched in the spring of 2019 and included Air Force units at the wing level and below. Phase Two also launches in 2019 and will include Phase One and Air Force Reserve Command units at the wing level and below. Phase Three will commence in 2021 and include Phase Two and Air Force Headquarters and centers above wing level.

“There are three phases due to funding requirements and the need to effectively build the Unite Program,” said Brakeville. “Breaking it into phases will help ensure the program’s success from start to finish.”

Although funds are encouraged to be used at Force Support Squadron facilities, they may also be used at off-base facilities.

“We’re able to work with base facilities and community-based organizations, too,” said Brakeville. “Ultimately, the most important goals are for units to strengthen cohesion and to have fun at their event.”

There are three types of events the Unite Program supports: Ready to Execute events include Force Support Squadron-related events that keep funds on the installation and should be considered first; Unit Developed Program events created by squadron leaders that capitalize on opportunities available in the local area; Free/volunteer events provide cost-effective team-building activities that allow co-workers to see each other in a different perspective and make a difference in the community.

Brakeville feels this program will increase cohesion while boosting readiness and resiliency by helping units feel more comfortable with one another.

“I think that simply enjoying and being encouraged by the people you work with and those around you increases readiness,” said Brakeville.

“It is time to revitalize the squadron as the warfighting core of our Air Force. Our vision demands that squadrons be highly capable, expeditionary teams who can successfully defend our nation’s interests in both today’s and tomorrow’s complex operating environments. We will succeed only when our squadrons are the cohesive, ready, and agile fighting forces that the Air Force, Combatant Commanders, and the nation requires,” Goldfein said.

Squadron commanders can take part in this program simply by completing and submitting a point of contact appointment letter, filling out an event proposal, and collecting DOD ID numbers. After the event, after-action information should be submitted to Brakeville.

For more information about the Unite Program, contact Brakeville at katherine.brakeville.1@us.af.mil.

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