New program offers single Airmen free recreational activities

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio - The 445th Airlift Wing March Single Airmen Program sponsored by the 445th Force Support Squadron Sustainment Services Flight featured a bowling tournament March 8 with the 445th Maintenance Squadron taking home the inaugural trophy pin. (Courtesy photo)

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio - The 445th Airlift Wing March Single Airmen Program sponsored by the 445th Force Support Squadron Sustainment Services Flight featured a bowling tournament March 8 with the 445th Maintenance Squadron taking home the inaugural trophy pin. (Courtesy photo)

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio -- Single Airmen in the 445th Airlift Wing now have an alternative to restaurant dining and hotel room TV for evenings during unit training assembly weekends. The Single Airman Programming Initiative provides social and recreation opportunities through Force Support Squadron-sponsored events. The program, which began rolling out around the Air Force last fall, is targeted toward officer and enlisted Airmen without a spouse. The first 445th AW event, a bowling competition, took place March 8 and was a huge success.

The SAPI aims to "foster a strong culture, mission, and sense of community for single Airmen," says the program guide. Programming focus is recreational, historical, cultural, or educational, with a huge number of recreational activities and classes--everything from cooking and fitness classes to rock climbing and kayaking--being considered as offerings.

"I think it's going to build camaraderie in the wing. It's also a great opportunity to network, to meet people that work in different units," explained the 445th program POC, Master Sgt. Kelly Kruger, 445th Force Support Squadron Sustainment Services Flight Superintendent. "We asked, 'how can we make sure people are getting out during UTA weekends and aren't stuck in their rooms?' This free program addresses that."

Kruger was enthusiastic about the inaugural event turnout.

"We had four teams participate--FSS, Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, Aerospace Medicine Squadron and Maintenance Squadron. Additionally, we had a few first sergeants and members of squadron leadership on hand to support the event and cheer on their teams. As the games went on and scores got closer, the cheering sections got louder," she said. "The feedback from everyone was great and we're really optimistic about the future of the initiative."

Although the 88th Air Base Wing owns the program at Wright-Patterson, Kruger said that when the 445th initially reached out, the base was generous and responded with backing immediately.

A proposal put together by Senior Airmen Simone O'Neal, Jermaine Wade, Stephen Hall, and Tiffany Works went forward and "we were hoping to begin hosting events in FY15. Instead, we just had our first activity," Kruger raved.

"I think there's a lot of fun to be hand and good memories to be made," she continued. "I hope the program brings people together and that all the activities we've planned out come to fruition."

Unit first sergeants and commanders will be coordinating Airmen attendance for the SAI events. If you are interested in hearing about the event for the next UTA, you can contact your first sergeant or the Force Support Squadron.