Press Releases

NORAD, USNORTHCOM chaplains host the 2014 Religious Affairs Workshop

UNRELEASED | April 08, 2014

The North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command Office of the Command Chaplain are hosting the annual Religious Affairs Workshop April 8-10 at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo.

The theme for this year's conference is "Advancing Resilience through Preparation For Disaster Response."

“We build and increase the capacity for faith-based organizations to respond to disasters by bringing them together, in the same room to learn from one another’s experiences,” said Mr. Ray Woolridge, deputy director for the NORAD and USNORTHCOM office of the command chaplain.  “By bringing these groups together, we also increase collaboration with civilian mission partners and develop a common understanding on just how the faith-based operations can work together during any disaster.”

Mr. Woolridge and the rest of the command chaplain’s office, to include the Command Chaplain, U.S. Navy Capt. Brenda BradleyDavila, serve as hosts for the event and recruit subject matter experts to speak and guide discussions.

Each year, the subject of the workshops change.  In years past, they have focused on strengthening faith-based responses.  But with a growing number of chaplains and their assistants being on the front lines of disasters at home and abroad (military and civilian), this year the focus will be on who takes care of chaplains as they minister to victims.

“We’re excited to have the subject matter experts we have coming this year,” said Woolridge. “They bring with them invaluable expertise from their experiences ranging from being on scene at devastating mudslides to being in Newtown, Conn., at the sight of the elementary school shootings to being on the ground at the nuclear reactor disaster in Japan.”

One of those experts in attendance is the Presidential Appointee to Homeland Security, Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, Rev. David Myers.  This is seen as a major accomplishment for the workshop, having attracted the senior most-person in the President’s administration representing faith-based organizations to attend.

The workshop begins on today, April 8, 2014, at the Peterson Air Force Base Club. The conference continues with a military-only session on Thursday, April 10, 2014, in Headquarters, NORAD-USNORTHCOM.

The Workshop’s purpose is to improve coordination and collaboration with local, regional and national faith-based disaster response mission partners.

Key note presentations will be from Dr. Robert Wicks, professor at Loyola University, and author of Bounce; Dr. Naomi Paget, American Red Cross; and FBI and Southern Baptist Disaster Relief chaplain, Rev. Dave Roever.  Other organizations attending are the Vietnam Special Forces veteran, the National Center for Resilience, and government disaster preparedness experts from FEMA and the National Guard. The third day is our military only day, held at HQs, N-NC. Presentations will include “The Coast Guard and Disaster Relief”, “Preparations for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Disasters”, and “The US Air Force in Defense Support to Civil Authorities”.

For more information call 719-554-0773 (DSN 692-XXXX)
 or e-mail usnorthcom.hc@northcom.mil



chaplains disaster assistance NORAD USNORTHCOM