ACC’s Sword Athena 2023 creates plan of attack

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Dana Tourtellotte
  • Air Combat Command Public Affairs

JOINT BASE-LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va. -- Volunteers from across Air Combat Command gathered on Mar 13th, 2023 at JBLE for the fourth annual Sword Athena development workshop.

The focus of the SA development workshop was to create new lines of effort in support of solutions for female and family centric barriers to readiness.

When they arrived, Airmen were divided into various mission area working groups (MAWG’s) to develop their ideas for their lines of effort (LOE’s) and brainstorm possible solutions. The culmination of this initial meeting of minds is a presentation to SA Alumni, and ACC directorate staff, who will provide insights on how to best move forward with the developing LOE’s.

Over the course of the next few weeks, the MAWGS will develop their resolutions in order to present them to Gen. Mark Kelly, the commander of ACC. The goal is to garner his support and to bring their resolutions to fruition.

“We want to focus on the problems that help bring people together,” said Chief Master Sgt. Diana Scaramouche ACC Sword Athena 2023 co-lead. “Families and units will benefit from the solutions we create here.”

The six working groups focused on the following LOEs:

- Military Life: focused on framework for ‘reset’ phase to bolster mental health/reintegration for forces and families
- Mental Health: identifying potential bias introduced by gender-identifiers in ACC awards narratives
- Parenting: working on ways to meet post-partum fitness and Physical training requirements
- Quality of Life: addressing childcare needs
- Female Fitment: Adapting ACC’s requirement processes
- Deepening commitment to nursing mothers by creating Lactation room maps and health inspection requirements

“We are giving a voice to Airmen across the command and informing our MAJCOM leaders about the readiness barriers we face during our day-to-day missions. Sword Athena’s goal is to bring forward innovative solutions to these readiness barriers and help ensure this is an organization where all Airmen can serve to their full potential, said Lt Col Elizabeth Blakeman, ACC Sword Athena 2023 co-lead.

“Many of the challenges we discussed are not new, for example female fitment or child-care availability, but I am excited about the approaches our working groups are taking to get after these problems in new and creative ways. It’s an honor to be part of leading the charge in creating meaningful change.”

Beginning in 2020 SA has been responsible for numerous changes in policy, process and procedure. Some of the changes have included female hair regulation changes to foster inclusiveness and health, child care centers no hat and no salute zone updates, and lactation pods.