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A&FRC offer “big picture” deployment support

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Pamela Coleman
  • 90th Forces Support Squadron
The Airman & Family Readiness Center serves as the focal point for assistance to personnel and families during separations and deployments for the Airmen of Air Force Global Strike Command and the 90th Missile Wing. Proactive programming, improved by customer feedback generates a score of services and activities that supports and expands resiliency in families during extended separations.

Families are encouraged to attend the pre-deployment briefing held by appointment to provide one-on-one undivided attention to all family members. At that time, they are enrolled in numerous family readiness programs. Hearts Apart Morale Calls allow immediate family members in the local area free phone calls through the base operator, from home to the military spouse's location regardless of which military service the member is supporting. Hearts Apart Social Groups sponsor events for spouses of members who are on a temporary duty assignment, deployed or serving an unaccompanied overseas tour.

There are three base events each year that are open to all deployers; past, present and future. There are also smaller events held for family members of those currently deployed. The upcoming base event is the annual spaghetti dinner held in November, as well as a holiday party in December for the families of the currently deployed.

Give Parents a Break is an excellent program that offers four free hours of day care each month. This assists families during separation, families of children with special needs, emergency situations or families who are experiencing stress due to a recent permanent change of station or other circumstances or hardships.

Car Care Because We Care, sponsored by the Air Force Aid Society, provides a free oil change and preventative maintenance check to ensure the family's primary vehicle is in good working order while the military member is away. Weekly e-mails are sent to the families containing base-wide events and articles to help sustain and cope with the ups-and-downs of personal and family life during deployment.

In 2011, a new program designed to educate spouses on the challenges of deployment and the reunion process is coming to Warren. Oftentimes, spouses want to know that what they are feeling is normal; they also want to know where to go to get assistance when they need it. The Military Spouses Awareness Handbook will provide this information. Spouses are also in a unique position to recognize changes in their loved ones; warning signs and symptoms will be discussed to help assist members who may need help once they return from deployment.

The A&FRC takes a "big-picture" approach to assisting personnel and families during separation and deployment here. The readiness program will increase the resiliency of deployed families and become one of the single most important tools to connect military spouses to the squadron, wing and the Air Force way of life.