by Master Sgt. Marvin Preston
ANGRC Public Affairs
9/3/2015 - JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md -- The
Air National Guard Community Action Information Board, in partnership
with the safety, personnel and manpower, chaplains, and Surgeon General
Directorates, have updated the portfolio of applications available on
the ReadyAirman.org site and mobile app.
Initially debuted at the ANG Executive Safety Summit earlier this year,
ReadyAirman.org is already receiving positive reviews from users and has
topped 25,000 likes on social media.
"Starting in 2005 with SeeAndAvoid.org, joint midair collision
avoidance, ANG safety garnered more than a decade of experience
innovating, developing, and fielding useful web and mobile platforms for
Airmen, families and communities--many of them going on to recognition
as Air Force or even joint service best practices." said Col. Edward L.
Vaughan, director of safety and executive director of the ANG CAIB.
Ready Airman brings three successful legacy programs under one umbrella
to serve as the ANG content hub for readiness, risk and resilience
information, as well as the home of the ANG's suicide prevention
outreach and wingman day planning efforts. The ANG pioneered online
delivery of resilience content for airmen and families in 2007 with the
AF-best practice Wingman Project.
"When it comes to resilience, risk, and readiness, we already had three
well-performing brands in the public space with interconnected missions:
Wingmanproject.org, Ready54.org and Wingmanday.org," said Lt Col
Roberto Balzano, ANG Risk Management program manager. "We worked
closely with our stakeholders and customers to bring those programs into
one-stop shopping for our Airmen and families...preserving those
functions that proved useful and adding new functionality that results
in better human-to-human interaction."
Vaughan continues, "The ultimate goal is resilient Airmen ready to
execute our missions in a downrange war fight, a home front domestic
response, or build security cooperation through partnerships around the
globe --to do that we need to engage families too. Unlike the active
component, ANG families are typically not centralized around large
bases, but geographically distributed throughout civilian communities in
54 states and territories. Ready Airman is designed to engage these
105,400 citizen-airmen and their families, wherever they may be."
The new Ready Airman portfolio puts users in touch with specific care
providers or resources in their area, who are familiar with issues
airmen and families face.
"Ready Airman gives Airmen and families the ability to locate their
nearest care provider," said Dave Schoenberg, ANG Suicide Prevention
Program manager. "Whether it's a chaplain, Director of Psychological
Health, Master Resilience Trainer, Airman and Family Readiness Program
Manager, so on and so forth. Airmen and families can locate the person
nearest to them, or in their geographical region, with a tap on their
The site also contains information for Department of Defense and Air
Force resources to access assistance no matter where Guard Airmen and
families happen to be.
Ready Airman's mobile app, available for most smart phone platforms, has
additional features to summon help quickly, should an Airman or family
member find him or herself in an emergency situation.
"It's called the Fearless Five," said Vaughan. "Fearless Five allows any
Airman or family member to program in the five people closest to them,
who are interested in helping them in a crisis situation. In an
emergency, one push of a button on that mobile app sends an urgent
message, similar to an Amber Alert, to all of those five people at the
same time, and not only are they notified that you're in trouble, they
then can push a button and using your GPS location, get directions to
navigate to where you are and render aid."
The site also hosts more than 3,000 independent pieces of content,
including short-format mobile videos produced for Airmen on a large
number of topics which are two to three minutes and designed for leaders
to easily put into a briefing, commander's call or Wingman Day program.
Units hosting a Wingman Day can also take advantage of the multiple
pre-built agendas, or use the site to customize their own program,
Vaughan also highlighted the site's use of crowdsourcing to help Airmen
and family members find the existing resources that best work for them.
"There's an awful lot of websites out there and one of the biggest
problems is how can anyone sort through them all and know which ones to
use," he said. "We went out and found 400 websites that allege to help
Airmen and Soldiers. Most of them do, but nobody can make any sense of
all 400 at once. Starting this summer, everybody who uses
ReadyAirman.org will have the ability to rate, qualitatively, what
they've gotten out of each site. [Users] will be able to go through and
rate each one on a 5-Star system. You can also add your comments. For
example, 'I rated this a three because of X, Y and Z,' and you can go
forward from there."
ANG Airmen and their families are often geographically separated from
their bases and have very few of those bases with housing. Ready
Airman's content is derived directly from feedback from them.
"We now have the ability to reach them with messages from ANG leadership
and the CAIB," said Vaughan. "In those messages we talk about taking
care of each other, the wingman concept, Ask Care Escort (suicide
prevention), and we can make those resources available when they need