Unifying through Unite Funds Published Sept. 21, 2022 By Airman 1st Class Elizabeth Davis 81st Training Wing Public Affairs KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. -- In his 2016 letter to Airmen, then Chief of Staff of the Air Force, Gen. David L. Goldfein wrote, “The squadron is the beating heart of the U.S. Air Force; our most essential team. We succeed or fail in our missions at the squadron-level because that is where we develop, train and build Airmen.” From this letter the Air Force Unite Funds program was created, providing commanders with funding to initiate programs that benefit Airmen and Guardians in their units, to include active duty, reserve and civilian employees. “The program is part of the Air Force's mission to invest in Airmen and families by delivering innovative services and capabilities to generate combat-ready, resilient warfighters,” said Hope Holden, 81st Force Support Squadron community services flight chief. Unite funds can be requested by any unit on base for their use in planning morale events. Each individual is allotted $13.50 towards a recreational activity and $5 towards a meal. “The unit will figure out what they want to do or contact the Unite representative to get some ideas,” said Holden. “I'll review their request and submit it in a system that goes to the Services Center in San Antonio where it’s reviewed to make sure it meets all the guidelines, and then approved.” Since the rise of COVID-19 in 2020, opportunities to use Unite Funds to have been limited. The 81st Security Forces Squadron recently used Unite Funds to host a morale event, taking advantage of the picnic tables, grills and open space at the marina park to spend time together. “We used to try to do something like this once a quarter, but since COVID-19 this is the first time we have been able to get together as a unit,” said Tech. Sgt. Perry Sinclair, 81st SFS days flight chief. “It feels good to see everyone relaxing and enjoying themselves together.” To request Unite funding for a squadron and to keep up to date on on-base activities, units can contact the 81st FSS.