Task Force True North begins at JBER

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Valerie Halbert
  • JBER Public Affairs

The 673d Air Base Wing and 3rd Wing have been selected to participate in the True North Program, a research study that will help commanders understand the needs of Airmen at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska.

“The True North Program includes two brief surveys that will be sent out through emails from Nov. 13 through Nov. 24,” said Bodey Turner, 673d Air Base Wing Task Force True North program manager. “The surveys are specifically focusing on individual squadrons, which means the driving factor is the participation from Airmen.”

The first of the surveys—True North Survey—is a brief survey and takes a few minutes to complete. The survey is facilitated by the 711th Human Performance Wing and will provide Air Force leadership data that will assist with decisions related to future Air Force wide implementation of the True North program.

The second survey—North Star Unit Survey—takes approximately ten to fifteen minutes to complete and can be taken via smartphone, tablet, laptop, or any internet-connected device. It will generate information on current problems that may be unknown to commanders as well as risks and protective factors in relation to those problems.

The North Star Unit Survey will be conducted through a research study based at New York University and will therefore appear in emails as a [Non-DoD Source] in the subject line.

“This program really gives us insight about how an individual Airman’s life is not only in the job but at home,” Turner said. “We can see what they are struggling with and have test results broken down into categories such as post-traumatic stress disorder, resiliency, anger, coping and depression.”

While many of these topics can be seen with a negative light, both surveys are anonymous, so Airmen can answer as truthfully as possible, Turner said.

“I encourage you to be totally honest with your responses,” said Col. Mark Ramsey, Air Force Headquarters operations division chief and Task Force True North director, in an email sent to the JBER community. “There is no ‘correct’ answer.”

Once the results are collected, commanders will receive raw data, which will compare specific squadrons to the Air Force overall, Turner said.

“These results will be able to show us how we’re doing comparatively and what we can do to make it better for our Airmen,” Turner said.

To be able to offer a more immediate response to certain issues, the North Star Unit Survey is interactive and provides several self-help resources available once it is completed.

“While it does give you the option to speak to a chaplain or mental health, it also offers online research material and phone applications you can download,” Turner said.

These surveys will be sent out every six months continuously for each unit.

For more information contact Turner at 552-2755 or by email at bodey.turner@us.af.mil.

The surveys can be found at the following links:

Task Force Ture North Survey- http://usaf.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_1RgLLBsK1B24rDN

North Star Unit Survey- https://nyu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_5yWH0O3F0Omzi3b