Get to know the key spouses: 319th MS

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Brandon Valle
  • 90th Missile Wing Public Affairs
Editor's note: This article is part of an ongoing series of articles that will introduce key spouses from the various squadrons within the 90th Missile Wing.

In a base focused on providing nuclear deterrence, the 90th Operations Group provides the manpower to accomplish the mission. Missileers spend much of their time out in the missile field, ready to respond at a moments' notice.

When missileers are on alert, it is important to have a support network back home to help families. The 319th Key Spouses ensure the families are in good hands.

"Even though members are not gone for very long, it does take a toll on families, especially children," said Niomi Briggs, 319th MS key spouse.

With some of the family members being out of contact anywhere from a day to five days at a time, the missileers leaving regularly can be challenging, Briggs said.

Briggs became a key spouse for the squadron in 2013 when the previous key spouse and her family moved stations. Ashleigh Street joined Briggs as a key spouse in 2014. The key spouses work together to create bonds between the other spouses.

"I enjoy seeing the friendships that we have created from the squadron spouse get-togethers," Street said. "We are a fairly small squadron, so it's easy to recognize other spouses and build strong relationships with them."

Both Street and Briggs joined the program as a way to connect with others who were in similar situations as they were. 

"As a shy, stay-at-home mom, I was looking for a good way to force myself to meet other spouses and to feel more connected to the squadron & the Air Force family," Street said.

Interacting and meeting with other spouses can help alleviate some stressors that come up while the spouse is away, she added.

The current key spouses each benefited from the key spouses program in the past, further increasing their dedication to the program now that they are in charge.

"I was helped by a key spouse back when I had just had a baby," Briggs said. "They set up a meal train for me and my family, giving me the chance to focus on the new baby and not having to worry about what to make for dinner."

With Warren being the first base for Street and her family, she said the key spouses helped her settle in.

"The key spouse before me made me feel really welcome when we arrived," she said. "She was my first friend here."

Though friendship and building a community between the spouses is a main focus, one of the hardest parts of the program is helping spouses when their other half is deployed. Both Briggs and Street ensure that the other spouses know they aren't alone.

"My most treasured moments as a key spouse has been letting other spouses and families know that they aren't alone and they will always have somewhere to turn when they need help," Briggs said. "We want everyone to know that we are here, even if it is just to talk."

Together, Briggs and Street are working with other key spouses in the 90th OG to set up activities and socials with all the spouses of the group as a way to meet new spouses and to get to know each other better.