Wing-Level Support Teams Counter Trauma

The Air Force is instituting wing-level traumatic stress response (TSR) teams to help airmen who are dealing with psychological stress caused by traumatic incidents like a family death, a comrade’s suicide, or loss of fellow airmen on the battlefield. Each team is comprised of persons from a base’s mental health office, airman and family readiness flights, chaplain’s office, and peer representatives. “It’s a tool to be used by leaders to promote resiliency in the Air Force,” said TSgt. Brian Hornberger, chief of the 359th Medical Operations Squadron’s mental health flight at Randolph AFB, Tex. Team members are trained to respond before, during, and after a traumatic event. “We’re available when people are struggling,” said Capt. John Waggoner, 359th MDOS TSR team chief. He added, “We want to make sure people’s coping mechanisms don’t turn into something unhealthy.” (Randolph report by Robert Goetz)