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R4R, UNITE programs foster unit cohesion, morale for Airmen, units

Airman Cortney Lee, from left, 66th Air Base Group command post controller, Tech. Sgt. DeShierra Tweggs, 66th Medical Squadron supervising dental technician, Staff Sgt. Donnovan Rios, 66 MDS noncommissioned officer of dental logistics, and Airman 1st Class Ma Kaila Eckermann and Senior Airman Joshua Lightning, 66 MDS dental technicians, pose for a photo during a 66th Force Support Squadron ‘Recharge 4 Resiliency’ trip to Wachusett Mountain, Mass., Feb. 21. The R4R programs seek to foster unit cohesion and sense of community for single Airmen, families and units both on and off the base (Courtesy Photo)

Airman Cortney Lee, from left, 66th Air Base Group command post controller, Tech. Sgt. DeShierra Tweggs, 66th Medical Squadron supervising dental technician, Staff Sgt. Donnovan Rios, 66 MDS noncommissioned officer of dental logistics, and Airman 1st Class Ma Kaila Eckermann and Senior Airman Joshua Lightning, 66 MDS dental technicians, pose for a photo during a 66th Force Support Squadron ‘Recharge 4 Resiliency’ trip to Wachusett Mountain, Mass., Feb. 21. The R4R programs seek to foster unit cohesion and sense of community for single Airmen, families and units both on and off the base (Courtesy Photo)

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – The 66th Force Support Squadron provides support for Airmen, families and individual units here through the ‘Recharge 4 Resiliency’ and UNITE programs.

The programs seek to foster unit cohesion, culture and a sense of community among Airmen and their families.

“For Airmen who are looking to get out, but maybe don’t know the area or are looking to meet new people at Hanscom, these programs are a great resource,” said Alysha Brandy, 66 FSS community program manager. 

Brandy oversees three of the R4R initiatives, including:

The Single Airman Program: recreational activities and classes available for Air Force active duty and reserve component Airmen, regardless of rank, without a spouse, including divorced Airmen and those with dependent children.

RECON: outdoor-centric and high-adrenaline activities open to active duty and reserve component Airmen and their families.

Deployed-Affected Programming (DAP): Morale, Welfare and Recreation events available to Hanscom-based Airmen and their families within one year of returning from deployment.

“Especially in the Single Airman Program, I’ve seen Airmen make lasting friendships during these trips,” said Brandy, who recently led a tubing and snowboarding outing to Wachusett Mountain, Massachusetts, for 30 single Airmen.

As the commonwealth advances toward reopening, FSS program managers have worked directly with participants to ensure social distancing requirements are upheld during events.

“It’s taken some creativity, but we’ve been able to think out of the box to develop successful events while keeping everyone safe,” said Brandy.

To facilitate morale and cohesion within units, the 66 FSS features the UNITE Program. UNITE provides unit commanders with funding to develop programs specifically for the Airmen and civilians assigned to their individual squadrons.

UNITE events must be both recreational and unit-cohesive to qualify for funds.

“The intent of the program is to bring unit members together and have fun in a way that suits them best,” said Courtney Cann, installation community cohesion coordinator, or C3. 

Once an organization has designated a representative for their unit, Cann will help tailor a ready-to-execute or unit-developed event, such as bowling, golf or trips to off-base entertainment complexes.

“The unit’s POC is really crucial to the success of the program because they know what the unit members really want, and cohesion is not a one-size-fits-all,” said Cann.

For information on R4R programs, contact Alysha.Brandy.1@us.af.mil.

For more information on how to utilize fiscal year 2021 funds, squadron leaders can contact Courtney.Cann@us.af.mil.