Date: 03/08/2019: With so much of rising suicide rates, the US Air Force moves for a one-day pause to their operational activities. The core purpose of the mentioned stand down is to address the hike in suicide rate observed this year with 78 number of cases, a figure substantially higher than last year.
As reported by ABC News, Gen. David Goldfein, the US Air Force Chief of Staff conveyed to his commanders that, “Suicide is an adversary that is killing more of our airmen than any enemy on the planet,” Fearfully he added that a failure to address the rising suicides could surely take the figure to 150 by the end of the year.
Kaleth O. Wright, the Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, mentions in a video message that “Our teammates are taking their own lives,” he expressed his concern that “more airmen to suicide than any other single enemy, even more than combat.”
“Seventy-eight of our brothers and sisters have given up on life this year alone. That’s 78 teammates. That’s 78 wingmen. That’s 78 spouses. That’s 78 brothers and sisters, sons and daughters. It’s 78 who couldn’t find a single reason to keep going.“
Wright continues, “We can’t let this keep happening. We have to get this thing turned around.”
As decided by the high command, each air unit is advised to spare a single day of their convenience, in the period from August 1 to September 15. The purpose is to serve investigations and identification of the root cause leading to this adversity.
USAF mentions that the standdown “is about giving our airmen time back to connect and break down barriers to getting help.” USAF spoeksman continues to add “this is the start of an ongoing dialogue about the force’s well-being.”
According to Air Force Magazine, The Air Force has observed 100 suicides per year over the last five years. With these stats, the figure of 78 is provenly disturbing, when nearly half of the year is yet to go.
Air-Force observed a pause last year too, where the focus was operational safety, amidst mishaps and crashes, resulting in some casualties of the US air staff.