The Airman & Family Readiness Center mission is to offer pre-deployment, sustainment, and reintegration services that provide information, foster competencies, improve coping skills, and offer support and assistance that will help personnel and their families deal with the demands of the expeditionary military mission and their family responsibilities. To improve outreach to the Air Force community, A&FRC Readiness NCOs partner with center staff in managing the challenges of evacuations, emergencies, deployments and separations, including TDYs and remote tours.
The formal pre-deployment phase begins upon assignment to a firm deployment tasking and ends when the Airman departs home station. This phase affects single and married deploying Airmen and their family members.
The A&FRC’s responsibility during this phase is to provide a standardized pre-deployment briefing that is mandatory for the deploying Airman and highly encouraged for family members. A&FRC staff contact identified family members to inform them of resources and services available if they are unavailable to attend the briefing.
The pre-deployment education includes information on:
-sustainment services offered during the deployment
-return and reunion support
Personal & Family readiness is emphasized in three key areas:
The deployment and sustainment phase refers to the time that the member is away from home station. The member is deployed while the family is “sustained” during the member’s absence.
A&FRC programs and services are available to family members to help reduce stress for the duration of the deployment. Information is disseminated by the Readiness NCO and other A&FRC staff individually or in groups via consultations, workshops, newsletter, email and telephone contact; families have unfiltered access to staff.
A&FRC support services include:
School Liaison Officer: Partners with parents and schools to promote understanding of the unique stressors experienced by children of deployed military.
Key Spouse Program: Serves as liaison between unit and families to maximize support during separations; trained volunteer hand-selected by unit leadership.
Military and Family Life Counselor: Provides short term, situational, problem-solving counseling and helps Airmen and families understand the impact of deployments and separations.
Morale Call Program: Coordinates morale calls between deployer and family members
Air Force Aid Society Community Programs
-Car Care because We Care
-Give Parents a Break
-Interest-free emergency loans/grants
Families of Deployed Events (i.e. Hearts Apart, Families Apart): Facilitate networking and sharing experiences.
The reintegration or redeployment phase begins 30 days prior to redeployment and lasts up to 30 days after return to home station.
Support services for both Airmen and families can include:
-welcome home events
-classes and workshops on reintegrating back into family, community, and workplace
-non-clinical counseling or referral if necessary
Redeployment consultations are provided by A&FRC staff for families at home station and are typically provided in group settings; walk-in consultations are also available. For returning Airmen, reintegration education must be provided within 7 days of return and prior to personal recovery leave.
Topics discussed include:
-adapting to change
-signs and symptoms of post-traumatic stress
The post-deployment phase begins 30 days after return to home station and lasts until 180 days following deployment. Services provided focus on reconnecting members with their families, units and communities and presenting information to enhance Airmen and family resiliency.
Military OneSource: Comprehensive information and support on every aspect of military life including deployment, reunion, relationships, grief, spouse employment, education, parenting, and child care.
Military Child Education Coalition: Mission is to ensure inclusive, quality educational opportunities for all military and veteran-connected children affected by mobility, transition, and family separation.
American Red Cross: Provides emergency communications that link military members with their families back home, access to financial assistance, counseling and assistance to veterans.
Air Force Aid Society: Mission is to support Airmen and enhance the Air Force mission by relieving emergency financial distress, helping Airmen and their families achieve their educational goals, and improving their quality of life through proactive programs.
National Military Family Association: Provides a voice and offers support and programs to service members, their spouses and children.