By Tech. Sgt. Tory Cusimano, 31st Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published September 06, 2019
Attendees receive a welcome brief during an Equal Opportunity conference at Aviano Air Base, Italy, Aug. 19, 2019. The conference welcomed EO representatives from around United States Air Forces in Europe and Air Force headquarters. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Tory Cusimano)
Audie Sanders, the Air Force Equal Opportunity program manager, delivers a brief during an EO conference at Aviano Air Base, Italy, Aug. 19, 2019. Sanders spoke about several topics including the future of the EO career field. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Tory Cusimano)
Brenda Ward, the chief of the Labor Law Field Support Center, speaks to attendees during an Equal Opportunity conference at Aviano Air Base, Italy, Aug. 19, 2019. Ward spoke about the different processes and legal aspects of civilian complaints. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Tory Cusimano)
At the Aviano Air Base Equal Opportunity (EO) Office, every day is different.
“It’s like Forrest Gump’s box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get,” said Tech. Sgt. Ashley O’Brien, the 31st Fighter Wing’s Equal Opportunity NCO in charge.
One day, they may be investigating an incident of discrimination or listening to a member vent their concerns. The next, they may be delivering important training to an entire squadron. It’s not often, however, that the EO team has days like it had recently when EO representatives from across United States Air Forces in Europe came together for a conference held right here at Aviano Air Base.
“Every two years, the career field holds an EO Worldwide, where we all come together as a career field, to receive that annual training and to meet fellow EO members. Being stationed in Europe, a lot of us were unable to attend Worldwide this year, so it gave everyone the opportunity to receive the training,” O’Brien said.
The conference helped attendees stay current on regulations and laws pertaining to complaints. This training will help EO better inform individuals who come to them seeking assistance.
Several notable EO members were in attendance for the training, including the Air Force Equal Opportunity program manager, Mr. Audie Sanders, who oversees EO for the entire service.
“He told us all the new and exciting things that the career field has to look forward to and brought his perspective from Air Force headquarters for the training,” O’Brien said.
The conference also allowed the Aviano EO team to pick the brains of other EO representatives around USAFE.
“We all were able to collaborate and learn from each other’s experiences, strengthening our processes here at Aviano and within USAFE,” O’Brien said.
After the conference, the Aviano EO office is charged up and ready to tackle anything the day has to offer.
“We are here to help if anyone needs it! We can provide team building for units, and we can do specialized training on different topics. Please feel free to reach out to us!” O’Brien said.
The Aviano Equal Opportunity office can be reached at DSN 632-5850, or commercially at 0434-30-5850.