Operation Support Team works with 36th Munition Squadron to improve physical and mental health

  • Published
  • By U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Allon Lapaix
  • 36th Wing

ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam – “The overarching goal for Operational Support Team, is performance optimization and injury prevention,” said Maj. Meredith Studer, 36th Medical Group physical element chief.

Operational Support Team, or OST, is a medical team of active duty and civilian personnel that consist of a physical therapist, a psychologist, a social worker, a strength and conditioning specialist and a team specialist.

“Our job is essentially trying to teach the units how to fish, rather than fish for them,” said Studer. “We try to create sustainable change that can last over time.”

OST on Andersen AFB is currently embedded with the 36th Munition Squadron. With OST working alongside the 36th Munition Squadron, it allows our 36th Medical Group to work with them on a more individual level.

“I think the biggest thing they’ve done so far is breaking down the perceived barriers between the Munition Squadron and the Medical Group,” said Major Ryan Chapman, Commander of the 36th Munition Squadron. “It’s easy to go to sick call when you have a cold or a fever, but it’s not always so easy for people to call for a mental health consolation or physical therapy when they have a lingering back pain.”

The 36th Munition Squadron is the first unit that OST is embedded into and has been working with them for months now. OST’s goal is to use various means to incorporate mental and physical health into units that are in need.

“About a year ago I got reports that three of my eleven technical sergeants were sent to the hospital for panic attacks,” said Chapman. “I immediately sought help by emailing a bunch of people within the Medical Group. OST was suggested for my squadron for aid and of course after doing some research I was all for receiving the help. I’m very appreciative of the med group for letting my squadron be the first to have OST embedded within a unit.”

It is very important to have resources when dealing with mental and physical health. OST has opened the door for the Medical Group to have more access within the 36th Munition Squadron and will be able to use that experience for other units that will be receiving help in the future.