Team Dover has Friends on the Flight Line

By 2nd Lt. Jacqulyn Noffsinger 436th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del. – Chapel team members from the 436th Airlift Wing, in partnership with the USO Delaware, established the Friends on the Flight Line program to serve members of the 436th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, 736th AMXS and the 436th Aerial Port Squadron at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware.

The chapel team visits the flight line twice a month, during both day and night shifts, to hand out refreshments and connect with the Airmen, showing that someone cares about them.

“That’s been the whole goal,” said Chaplain (Capt.) William Guy, 436th AW chaplain. “Let’s bring our care to where [Airmen] are, even if it’s just for a five-minute conversation.”

The initiative began in November 2021, when the chapel team brought hot chocolate out to the flight line.

The program grew as the chapel team partnered with the USO and the squadrons’ integrated resiliency teams to provide more support for the Airmen working on the flight line. The team went from serving just hot chocolate to providing mentorship in addition to snacks, meals and other refreshments.

“I love the partnership that we have with so many volunteers and with the USO,” Guy said. “When you have a team, different personalities, you get to connect with more people.”

Friends on the Flight Line ensures that resiliency resources are brought directly to the Airmen who need them. Due to the success of this program at Dover AFB, the USO is working to have this partnership replicated across other bases.

“The whole point is connecting with the Airmen that you typically don’t get to see on a normal day,” said Cari Matthews, USO Delaware senior center operations supervisor. “We figured we would bring the USO to them. You’d be surprised what something so little means to them.”

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