Story by Leticia Cunningham on 09/16/2019Members of the 38th Reconnaissance Squadron participated in a unit cohesion activity funded through the Unite Program, June 21.
The Unite Program became available at Offutt Air Force Base earlier this year. It enables units to find activities that encourage members not only to relax, but to enjoy some comradery and get to know each other outside of work.
The program is the vision of Gen. David L. Goldfein, Air Force chief of staff, who recognized the need to take care of our squadrons by allowing units to focus on resiliency and cohesion for its members.
Each unit commander understands the requirements and needs of their individual units. It is up to them to work alongside their squadron's appointed Unite Program point of contact to find an event that will allow members to interact and utilize the program.
Currently this program is especially important to Offutt AFB, due to the daily challenges various squadrons face at work from the flood earlier this year.
"We are the second highest deployed wing in the Air Force, and the highest deployed in (Air Combat Command)," said Lt. Col David Manrrique, 38th RS commander. "A lot of traumatic events happen in addition to normal stressors in life. You need resiliency. If you don't have it, you are going to struggle."
The 38th RS was able to find an event that would allow members to intermingle with their fellow Airmen.
"We really looked everywhere and that took time," said Manrrique. "I was actually driving my kids to soccer practice and I saw the hockey rink, when I saw a broomball banner."
Broomball is played on a skating rink, but doesn't require ice skates. The game is played using similar tactics to hockey. Instead of a hockey stick and puck, players use a stick with a rubber-molded triangular end and a mini soccer ball.
1st Lt. Andrew Quinell, 38th RS Unite Program POC, worked alongside Jennifer Miller, 55th Force Support Squadron community cohesion coordinator, to begin the process, which was submitted to the Air Force Services Agency.
"I always tell them; the sky is the limit," said Miller. "Whatever you think we can make into a unit cohesion activity, we can do it."
Approximately 100 38th RS personnel participated, 60 on the ice, and the rest were cheering them on and helping out in other aspects.
"It's a wonderful program, and I'm so happy to see the Air Force has recognized these kinds of events," said Quinell. "They are trying to achieve unit cohesion and team building and these are the kind of things that actually work. We hope that this program continues and is still available for the foreseeable future."
Those interested in participating in the Unite Program can contact Jennifer Miller at 402-232-3537.