The building blocks of resiliency

  • Published
  • By Venessa Armenta
  • 325th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Members of Team Tyndall recently marked a new rebuild milestone with the opening of the Integrated Resilience Office. Several helping agencies, including the Victims' Council, the Integrated Resiliency Office and the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response team, officially moved into the facility on June 4, 2024.

The decision to co-locate these agencies was a testament to the base's commitment to fostering interagency communication and prevent issues of violence. This collaborative approach is expected to enhance the effectiveness of each agency's mission.

“Our primary focus is to advocate for anyone in crisis, provide them with reporting options and connect them to the necessary resources,” said Eddie Astudillo, 325th Fighter Wing SAPR victim advocate. “Sometimes, the individuals we assist may require legal support, and we have a team of lawyers working for Victims' Council right next door. So, co-locating with helping agencies with similar missions is a great benefit not just to us but to the individuals we serve.”

Similarly to the SAPR office, IRO works to prevent harmful behaviors such as sexual assault, harassment, domestic abuse, child abuse and suicide prevention.

“[IRO’s mission] is to utilize tools that will help analyze and identify Team Tyndall’s risk factors and strengths,” said Rebecca Gectrich, 325th FW IRO integrated prevention chief. “We do this through surveys and integration with commanders and units.  Once we identify these risks, we can work with agencies to provide resolutions to alleviate issues and make the overall mission stronger.”

According to the Department of Defense’s Prevention Plan of Action 2.0, integrated prevention will require finding shared solutions to the problems each of these agencies are working to combat. By aligning the priorities of SAPR, Victims' Council and IRO, the agencies can ensure collective efforts to create and implement solutions by sharing data and recognizing trends. This approach aims to align competing priorities, increase program effectiveness, ensure efficient use of resources and help leaders cultivate safe and healthy climates across the military community.

The AIROC facility was meticulously crafted, taking into account the unique missions of each agency and the comfort of the individuals it serves. It features a discreet entrance and sound-resistant offices, ensuring privacy for those reporting or seeking services. Even the SAPR awareness color teal, which is prominently used in the building's signage and furnishings, was purposefully chosen to create a supportive environment.

“We now have a large conference room equipped with [audio visual] technology that will allows us to complete outreach training with other support and response agencies across the state,” said Astudillo. “These agencies will host conferences that we would have previously had to drive a county or two over to participate in. We also plan to use it as a space to train our volunteer victim advocates.”

Completion of this facility falls in line with the Department of the Air Force and DoD’s commitment to eliminate incidents of sexual assault through awareness and prevention training, education, victim advocacy, response, reporting and accountability.

“Maintaining readiness as an Air Force combat wing includes better support facilities for our Airmen,” said Col. George Watkins, 325th Fighter Wing commander. “The opening of the Integrated Resilience Office will ensure that these agencies can provide increased support, awareness and improved overall readiness, all in one centralized location.”