Nuclear enterprise relies on its personnel

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Cody H. Ramirez
  • 509th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
Air Force Global Strike Command and Whiteman Air Force Base provide combat ready forces for nuclear deterrence and global strike operations. To ensure these forces are ready at a moment's notice, the Personal Reliability Program is set in stone here.

PRP is located in the base clinic and is dedicated to those who work with critical components and weapons here. PRP ensures those members are in top working condition, so they can provide safe, secure and effective handling of the nuclear enterprise.

There are two types of positions that require Airmen to be on the PRP program: critical and controlled. Critical positions are made up of bomb crews, aircrew members, explosive ordnance disposal Airmen and communications security personnel. Controlled positions consist of all armed security forces, logistics handler and transport personnel.

"The point of PRP is for the person to be responsible," said Staff Sgt. Jaime Vergara, 509th Medical Operations Squadron PRP monitor. "It is the patient's job to stay mentally and physically healthy and inform the clinic of any problems they might be experiencing."

Any change to a patient's health status is reported to the PRP monitor who decides what choice of action should be made from there.

"Say someone has had headaches for more than a week and is taking over the counter drugs, but the medicine isn't working," Sergeant Vergara said. "If his headaches are still persistent, he may come into the PRP clinic where the problem is evaluated. We find what the problem is, find a cure for it and ensure the medicine isn't going to adversely affect his working functionality."

The confident medical authority (CMA) here finishes evaluating the patient's health and sends his recommendations to the patient's commander, according to Sergeant Vergara.

"If the medicine could affect the member's alertness or motor skills (basically daily functions) then the CMA will recommend a temporary duty-suspension to the commander," the sergeant added.

The commander can either follow the recommendations or turn them down. If a suspension is passed, it lasts until a follow-up appointment at the PRP clinic.

Sergeant Vergara said the clinic doesn't want anyone working on critical components if they are mentally or physically unstable.

All of these precautionary measures ensure Team Whiteman forces are ready at a moment's notice to provide nuclear deterrence and global strike operations.

The PRP clinic has re-instatement hours Mondays through Thursday 7:30-8:30 a.m., and Fridays 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For more information, call the PRP clinic at (660) 687-5633.