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IRON team hosts resiliency summit

Col. Jason Grandy, 919th Special Operations Wing commander, reads a document during the Integrated Resilience Optimization Network's second annual Building Resilient Leaders Summit, Sept. 17, 2021 at the Destin-Fort Walton Beach Convention Center, Florida. The event gave Grandy and other leaders a chance to meet the resiliency teams on base and learn about available resources to Airmen. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Dylan Gentile)

Jason Grandy, 919th Special Operations Wing commander, reviews a brochure during the Integrated Resilience Optimization Network's second annual Building Resilient Leaders Summit, Sept. 17, 2021 at the Destin-Fort Walton Beach Convention Center, Florida. The event gave Grandy and other leaders a chance to build on the emotional and cognitive endurance needed to excel while leveraging resources from base helping agencies to enhance the support they provide to Airmen. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Dylan Gentile)

An attendee lists notes on a display board during the Integrated Resilience Optimization Network's second annual Building Resilient Leaders Summit, Sept. 17, 2021 at the Destin-Fort Walton Beach Convention Center, Florida. The conference included several short classes and activities focusing on leadership development. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Dylan Gentile)

Kristina Dean, executive officer for the 919th Special Operations Wing Command Chief, lists items discussed during the Integrated Resilience Optimization Network's second annual Building Resilient Leaders Summit, Sept. 17, 2021 at the Destin-Fort Walton Beach Convention Center, Florida. The conference included several short classes and activities focusing on leadership development. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Dylan Gentile)

DUKE FIELD, Fla. -- The Integrated Resilience Optimization Network hosted its second annual Building Resilient Leaders Summit and used the venue as an opportunity to provide attendees with tools and resources to better support their Airmen.

“It’s a chance to give our rising stars some leadership development courses,” said Jacqueline Gonzales, Airman Family and Readiness Center director. “We focused on the emotional and cognitive endurance it takes to be a leader and how support agencies on base can help build those skill sets.”

This year’s summit took place the weekend of Sept. 17, 2021. The agenda included several short classes and activities focused on leveraging services available from a wide range of helping agencies to meet the needs of Airmen who are working hard to support the unit’s global mission.

Commanders and Airmen alike opened up about the effects of suicides, how being vulnerable can help you earn the trust of your wingmen, and other topics such as destigmatizing mental health issues.

“I thought the event was very informative,” said Senior Master Sgt. Anthony Chavez, Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program representative for the 919th Special Operations Wing. “As an attendee, I learned all about these other programs that I could connect Airmen with who are returning from deployments.”

The event also gave leaders a chance to get up close and personal with the resiliency teams on base and learn what resources are available to their Airmen. Preservation Of The Force and Family representatives had the opportunity to share resources each of their unique pillars had to offer.

“It was great to see the passion from our leadership and commitment from supervisors at all levels who are striving to be better for our Airmen,” said Gonzales. “It’s an ideal event in that it lets them have the space to grow and develop since they’re the ones taking care of people every day.”

While primarily informative, the event did have multiple hands-on resiliency opportunities for the attendees throughout the weekend such as a beach-side marshmallow roast and bonfire.

“I think it’s extremely beneficial for leaders to be aware of these programs and resources,” said Chavez. “It would be great to attend the next summit and share what I have to offer to other leaders.”

Airmen interested in attending the next Building Resilient Leaders Summit should request their supervisor nominate them for next year’s course.

To learn more about the programs and initiatives the unit uses to support Airmen and families, check out 919th SOW on Facebook and Instagram.