Military News

Friday, March 13, 2015

Team Yokota shares keys to resiliency with JSDF allies

by Airman 1st Class David C. Danford
374th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

3/11/2015 - ICHIGAYA, Japan -- Resiliency can be defined as the ability to withstand, adapt or recover from life's adversities. U.S. Airmen around the world are being taught skills and techniques to help them deal with the stress of military life, while maintaining mission readiness as part of the Comprehensive Airmen Fitness Program.

At Yokota Air Base, Japan, the resiliency program is going a little further. To advance the relationship between the U.S. Air Force and the Japan Self-Defense Forces, Master Sgt. Jonas McVey, 374th Airlift Wing master resiliency trainer, and Micaela Alexander, community support coordinator, were invited to the JSDF headquarters in Ichigaya alongside members of Yokota's senior leadership to share these skills with JSDF leadership.

"This course is about giving our troops the tools they need," McVey said. "The more tools you have the more flexible you are when adversity comes."

During the three-hour briefing, Warrant Officers from JSDF were shown how to better communicate with their subordinates, coworkers, friends and family using good listening and interpersonal problem solving techniques. The first technique focuses on active listening through responsiveness and body language, while the second focuses on a five-step process to resolve conflict.

"We may not always be able to come up with a solution immediately, but if I treat you with respect, we'll be able to talk about the problem again," McVey said. "It doesn't always mean I get what I want, but it will be a conversation, not an argument."

After demonstrating the techniques' effectiveness, U.S. Forces Japan and 5th Air Force Command Chief Master Sgt. James Laurent and 374th Airlift Wing Command Chief Master Sgt. Paul Elliott shared their perspective on the resiliency program and the importance in taking care of their Airmen.

"The most important thing a leader can do is to get to know their Airmen," Laurent said. "If you don't know what is normal for your Airmen, how will you know when something is abnormal?"

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