ACC Integrated Resilience Workshop Conference 2023

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

Members of the Air Combat Command prevention and response workforce gathered 1 May through 4 May, 2023 at JBLE for a conference, to discuss a variety of components related to the restructuring of ACC’s Integrated Resilience Team.

As a result of the 2021 Independent Review Commission on Sexual Assault in the Military, the DoD has directed the building of an integrated prevention and response workforce to enhance prevention of sexual assault, harassment, retaliation, domestic abuse, child abuse and suicide.

“Through an integrated, community-based approach, our goal is to see fewer instances of interpersonal and self-directed violence throughout ACC, and a more resilient and ready Total Force,” said Sara Wilson, ACC Chief of Integrated Resilience.

This summit provided a vital opportunity to address the nuances of making these changes.

“Through a public health approach, we are trying to prevent problems from happening or recurring by implementing educational programs, strengthening life skills, recommending policies, administering services and conducting research,” said Wilson. “In contrast to clinical professionals like counselors, therapists, doctors and nurses - who focus primarily on treating individuals after they become sick or injured - we are focused on promoting healthy lifestyles, researching disease and injury prevention, and detecting, preventing and responding to harmful behaviors.”

This gathering provided greater clarity on the new prevention workforce roles and responsibilities, facilitated team members confidence in their roles in enhancing leadership development and education, engaging communities, building healthy climates, analyzing local data, and collaborating with community partners and military leaders.

“The change begins with training up the workforce and how we hire,” said Wilson. “The prevention workforce will be made up of persons with a background in social science and will require specific training to best support the needs of our Airmen, Guardians and families.

This newly integrated prevention and response workforce will be led by the Director of Integrated Resilience, who will have the responsibility of directing the prevention and response activities and serve as the primary advisor to the Wing Commander on all human relations, climate, culture, and quality of life issues.

“The care for our communities will be better,” said Wilson; we will be aligned together, more informed, and better at collecting and analyzing data to determine what did and didn’t work.”.

Through research gained from the Air Force study on the Integrated Response and Integrated Prevention and Response (“Connect to Care”) model, we discovered that co-locating prevention and response workforce members helped make support services more accessible for survivors. It also created opportunities for warm hand-offs of survivors to the appropriate helping agency.

“Prevention is a community effort,” said Wilson. “As an integrated prevention and response workforce, we are actively moving towards hiring and training social scientists to enhance the prevention of sexual assault, harassment, retaliation, domestic abuse, child abuse and suicide in our military communities.

“By transitioning to this new integrated mode of operation, we can build on successes, address shortfalls in primary prevention, become better advocates for survivors, and be more capable of garnering additional resources to get our jobs done and preventing harm.”