The leadership of the 412th Test Wing announced a partnership with the Civil Air Patrol to provide more chaplains on the wing and test a new virtual reality-based advisory platform at Air Force Base Edwards, California, the September 10th.
“At Edwards we test aircraft and equipment, and now we will test chaplains and software,” said Colonel Randel Gordon, deputy commander of the 412th TW.
Gordon met with leaders in the California wing of the CAP to mark the announcement. The partnership is a testing program, both organizations hope will be replicated among other Air Force bases and CAP Wings to exemplify the concept of “Total Force”.
“When this came up, I was like‘ Wow, ’I didn’t even imagine we could do this,” said Gordon, a former CAP member. “I thought it worked very well. When we say “total strength” we really mean that … everything is the same, to the end. ”
The association allows the CAP to provide its chaplains at the base. As an Air Force Assistant, CAP provides assistance to emergency services to local and national agencies. The CAP also offers aerospace education and program opportunities for cadets.
“What is really unique about this is, from the chaplain’s side; it’s a human design we haven’t done before, “said Major Michael Morison, California Wing Chaplain, CAP.” Several chaplains embedded in the RSP (Religious Support Plan) and alongside the software, incorporating a new pastoral software, we are very happy to be part of all this ”.
The current wing chaplains are delighted that the collaboration is increasing their staff. Chaplain assignments are based on the number of uniformed flights in a facility, regardless of the number of civilians assigned to it, according to Captain Wilson Joa Yu, 412nd TW Chaplain.
Joa Yu added that the new association will also benefit chaplains professionally.
“What I’m looking forward to is drawing on their experience while they were doing their ministry, as they were serving the people of the Civil Air Patrol,” Joa Yu said.
The recently announced pastoral software will allow aviators and civilians to access their chaplains from anywhere and anonymously if desired. The software platform is developed by Even Health and is called “Third Room”. The platform is a virtual space that uses virtual reality to provide spiritual and non-spiritual counseling and on-demand experiences in prayer, meditation and mental resilience training, according to David Black, co-founder and CEO of Even Health. In addition, it can also provide chaplain users in an anonymous environment through on-screen avatars.
Black was at his disposal to provide training in the third room. Even Health’s involvement started as an AFWERX Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) project and has now entered the testing phase.
“They wanted to introduce this new initiative and launch something new, try it out and therefore be a part of that is exciting,” said Captain Annamae Taubeneck, chaplain of Squadron 10, CAWG, CAP and also one of the we Edwards AFB. chaplain augmentees.
“What better place to try it than Edwards? I mean this is the testing ground for the entire Air Force, this is the place to be, ”said Taubeneck.