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IDS: Proactive Care for Airmen

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio - 

For many Airmen, faith and spiritual guidance is an important part of maintaining mental health and healing. As a member of Integrated Delivery System, or IDS, the Chaplain Corps provides this service.


IDS is a team of helping agencies focused on care of the Airmen and their families.

“We are changing from a parish based ministry to a unit based ministry. We are getting out into the units and serving the Airmen where they work, and where they are, instead of waiting for them to come to us,” explained Capt. Valdon Jensen, 88th Air Base Wing Chaplain and IDS representative.

 “Before I became a Chaplain I was an Air Battle Manager, and I saw how helpful it would have been for my Airmen to have a relationship with our unit Chaplain,” said Jensen. “Many of them were uncomfortable using Chapel services because they didn’t have that relationship before they needed help.”

In addition to putting an emphasis on proactive approach, the IDS also allows participating agencies to track and identify trending problems and find ways to counter these problems collaboratively.

“We all have our own lane, but the Chaplain Corps focuses on things that are spiritual, the intangible things.” Jensen explained. “Within the IDS, we all refer to one another. For example, I’ve had Airmen come to me for guidance, and I’ve walked with them to Mental Health or to the Sexual Assault Response Coordinator and helped put them in touch with people who can offer the unique services to help them through whatever they are facing”

Many times Airmen find themselves in crisis situations and aren’t sure where to turn for support. To combat these crisis situations, IDS aims to put support systems in place beforehand.

 “Our goal is to be there, ‘left of the bang,’” said Jensen, borrowing a phrase from Col. Ted Wilson, Wing Chaplain of the 88 ABW.  “‘The bang’ is the traumatic event that we all face in life- the death of a loved one, problems at work or in a relationship, etc., and our goal is to develop relationships with Airmen prior to that event so that they are comfortable coming to us for help when that ‘bang’ happens.”

 The Chaplain Corps adjusted their parish based ministry to align with the proactive approach the IDS is taking in caring for Airmen and their families. The Chaplain Corp focuses on building relationships with Airmen, hosting many events to reach the Airmen early, and providing guidance and mentorship to those in need.

For more information on the Chaplain Corps, contact Capt. Valdon Jensen at Valdon.jensen.1@us.af.mil.