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NEWS | March 28, 2012

Programs help conquer Pillars of Comprehensive Airman Fitness

By Senior Airman Anthony Hyatt Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs

In today's Air Force, being physically fit is a top priority, but in addition to being fit, Comprehensive Airman Fitness includes being socially, mentally and spiritually fit. To help Joint Base Charleston Airmen achieve all four pillars of CAF, several programs exist here for their support.

"Comprehensive Airman Fitness represents a 'holistic approach to caring for our people that equips, enables and empowers everyone to grow more physically, socially, mentally and spiritually fit,'" said Gen. Raymond Johns, Air Mobility Command commander.

"CAF represents an Airman or family member who is making responsible choices in the face of personal challenges, adversity, or coping with the rigors of military life," said Senior Master Sgt. Michelle McMeekin, 628th Air Base Wing community action information executive director. "It's not a program but a way of life designed to make resilient Airmen and families through a balanced foundation built on two primary cornerstones: the four pillars of fitness (social, spiritual, mental and physical) and the five "C's" (care, commit, connect, communicate and celebrate).

"The four pillars represent an individual's overall state of well-being and resiliency; the five 'Cs' represent a community that is strong, resilient and supportive," said McMeekin. "CAF reflects the essence of what we expect in strong "wingmen" and close-knit communities, creating perfect conditions for individual and organizational resilience to take root. The goal should be a healthy culture where Airmen and their families are resilient but are not afraid to seek help or support when they need it.

"Agencies around the base have fully embraced the CAF concept by offering a wide variety of classes that support each pillar of CAF," McMeekin added.

A few classes offered here at JB Charleston - Air Base are:

· Stress or Anger Management: Do you find yourself feeling angry or stressed more often than you would like or regret how you act when you are upset? Do you wish you could express yourself more clearly and be more assertive? Consider registering for the Healthy Thinking Workshop. The workshop is divided into four, 90-minute sessions held on consecutive Wednesdays from 10 to 11:30 a.m., with a new group beginning the first Wednesday of every month. To sign up or for more information, contact Family Advocacy at 963-6972.

· Stress coping workshops: Learn how to cope with life's stresses without pulling your hair out. Workshops meet the second Wednesday of every month from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the Health and Wellness Center classroom and are open to everyone. Call the HAWC at 963-4087 to sign up.

· Sleep Habits: Learn effective sleep habits and how to get your best Z's during this workshop which meets the fourth Wednesday of every month from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the HAWC classroom. This class is open to everyone. Call the HAWC at 963-4087 to sign up.

· Ready, Set, Parent: A course that provides useful tips for parents while helping them understand the importance of budgeting for their new addition. This course is April 12 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Airman and Family Readiness Center. Call 963-4406 to reserve a seat.

· Getting it Off/Keeping it Off: GOKO is a free eight-week class that teaches participants how to apply knowledge about healthy eating and physically activity for lasting change. GOKO can help provide the support and accountability to make weight loss goals a reality. The class meets from 5 to 6 p.m. on Thursdays, May 3 to June 21, in the Health and Wellness Center, building 225. Participants need to call 843-797-FIND or call the HAWC at 963-4087 for more details.

· Healthy Cooking Classes: Locally famous Chef Ken Immer will teach classes on how to cook gourmet healthy meals at Trident College April 21. Participants must call the HAWC to sign up for class.

A few classes offered at JB Charleston - Weapons Station are:

· Navigation Operational Stress: Learn techniques to slow down, take a deep breath, prioritize and relax. The next class is April 19 from 10 a.m. to 11:30, Bldg. 755. For more information, call the Fleet and Family Support Center at 764-4480.

· Personal Financial Management: Let an FFSC certified financial specialist assist you in accessing and explaining your credit report. They can provide the tools and information to improve your score and make the right decisions about collections and debt. Call the FFSC at 764-4480 for more information.

· Budget for Baby; The Navy Marine Corps Relief Society offers a basic budgeting class for expecting mothers. Class is held every second Thursday of the month from 9:30 to 11 a.m. After completing the class, each mom receives a Layette filled with free baby items such as crib sheets, onesies and a homemade blanket. Call 764-7662 or come by 1004 Jefferson Ave., Bldg. 717 to sign up for the class.

Some classes are also offered through Leadership Pathways, which is located at

"A chain is only as strong as its weakest link," said McMeekin.CAF provides the answer to that. It's about reinforcing the weakest link so the chain remains strong. If even one member or family is struggling, then an entire office, unit, squadron or base can be impacted. One broken or weak link impacts the safety, security and stability of the chain. We must be comprehensively-fit Airmen who are committed to building a resilient and healthy community."

For more information on the classes, contact the Airman and Family Readiness Center at 963-4406, the Fleet and Family Support Center at 764-7480, the Base Chapel at 963-2536, the HAWC at 963-4087, Family Advocacy at 963-6972 or Mental Health at 963-6852.