Cyber Airmen step up volunteer efforts during COVID-19 pandemic

  • Published
  • By Sharon Singleton
  • Sixteenth Air Force
Airmen from JBSA-Lackland came together overnight on April 7 to volunteer for charge of quarters duties in support of Airmen across the base whose lives have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The team, led by Col. Steven Anderson, 688th Cyberspace Wing commander and Chief Master Sgt. Israel Jaeger, 688th Cyberspace Wing command chief, consisted of Airmen from various squadrons, including Capt. Nathan Spradley, 502nd Air Base Wing, Master Sgt. Stephanie Russ, 323rd Training Squadron, and Staff Sgt. Ryan Owen, 67th Operations Support Squadron.
“COVID-19 is an unplanned crisis impacting the entire globe.  As service members, we are committed to readiness for both the known and unknown,” said Anderson. “COVID-19 is driving every command team to balance health of our force in uncommon environments while assuring continued readiness to execute primary missions.  It’s also offering opportunities to support other Air Force missions where possible.” 
Volunteers are working around the clock to ensure support for Airmen sequestered in any one of the four COVID-19 statuses known as RPQI: Restriction of Movement, Person Under Investigation, Quarantine, or Isolation. 
“This is an opportunity to help take care of our own.  Supporting our Airmen is how we build trust across the force and instill the meaning of being a Wingman from the very beginning of a career.  This is a critical mission we must support…especially as we seek ways to grow connectedness and build resiliency across our force,” Anderson said.
CQ shifts are generally 12 hours long; however, volunteers cover eight-hour shifts. Duties range from intake, tracking and reporting, wellness checks, meal and personal item delivery, and arranging transport upon release. The concern for spreading COVID-19 has left a growing need for CQ-duty volunteers.
Public Health validated the CQ-duty process meets CDC guidelines and Tuesday night’s team of volunteer Airmen eagerly donned masks, washed hands, and cheerfully supported the force’s newest Airmen in true Wingman fashion.
“Our hope is that more Airmen will realize the process is sound, alleviate any angst, and be more inclined to support our brothers and sisters at JBSA-Lackland,” said Jaeger.
Airmen interested in volunteering for a CQ shift should contact their chain of command for approval.
CQ augmentees are entrusted with the care of our fellow Airmen in a time of high stress and high uncertainty for both trainees and others located at the base--this is being good Wingmen.  Fighting COVID-19 is a team sport…with a 6-foot standoff!