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Resiliency - Defending America by overcoming obstacles

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Nick Wilson
  • 2nd Air Expeditionary Group Public Affairs
While deployed here at RAF Fairford, Airmen from throughout Air Force Global Strike Command maintain focus on the mission using the four Air Force pillars of resiliency.

Mental and spiritual resiliency, two of the four Air Force pillars of resiliency, is what motivates and empowers Senior Airman Whitney Jones to overcome her life obstacles.

Jones, a Defender with the 509th Security Forces Squadron at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., said that when life throws challenges at her, she recites the Philippians 4:13 biblical verse.

"I can use that verse with anything in life," Jones said. "When I have physical fitness tests, it helps me get through the run and push-ups. If I'm having problems at work, I just remember that I can do all things through him."

Although this verse gives her strength, being able to wear the security forces beret is also a meaningful connotation, Jones said.

"It means a lot to know that I actually protect and defend freedom," Jones said.

For the Louisville, Kentucky native, remembering why she joined the Air Force gives Jones the mental resiliency to do her job.

"Only one percent of the entire American population can say that they've served their country," Jones said. "I enjoy being able to wear my uniform every day."

A strong sense of duty and responsibility also comes into play when an Airman is tasked with providing security for a military installation, Jones said.

"We're protecting every person and every asset on that installation," Jones said. "We control entry, exit and mission essential assets on station. Everyone relies on us if something bad happens."

Having the mental resiliency is a vital virtue to have, especially when the job is to think and act quickly to safely neutralize any threat that may harm people or assets on base, Jones said.

Putting training and skills to use in a different country is another reason to stay resilient. As a U.S. Service member, Jones and her fellow Airmen are seen as "ambassadors" for their home country. One irresponsible decision or statement could tarnish the reputation of the U.S., she said.

"Being an ambassador is pretty much being a leader and being the one to set the standard," Jones said. "I think it's very important that as Airmen of the U.S. Air Force, we set the standard and be ambassadors for others to look up to. Being able to serve the United States at a base in England is awesome and the fact we as U.S. citizens can come to another country and perform our mission without any issues is a good feeling."

While deployed, Jones and other security forces are tasked with the responsibility of protecting two of America's most lethal bomber aircraft - the B-2 Spirit and B-52 Stratofortress.

"They're awesome planes with amazing technology," Jones said. "They're also one of the U.S.'s greatest assets. If they were to become compromised by the enemy then we'd be in for a world of trouble, so we have to protect them with our lives."

Preventing adversaries from compromising Air Force assets requires security forces Airmen to constantly train and be prepared for the worst possible scenario.

"We train so often that responding to a real-world situation would be second nature," Jones said. "If you have to stop and think about what you need to do, we could end up losing the fight. You never know when something is going to happen. You always have to be ready."

Having a resiliency safety net, whether it is a bible verse or a sense of duty, helps Jones accomplish her duties despite the sacrifices that come with being a Defender.

"Although we work long hours and don't get to see our families often on holidays, knowing everyone is safe because of me is a good feeling," Jones said.