Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas --
When COVID-19 made its global impact a year ago, Department of the Air Force operations were adjusting from common practices to a new normal. Among those adjustments were completing training requirements and support functions typically accomplished in person.
The members of the Air Force’s Personnel Center Field Support section were in the midst of conducting their base visits when COVID hit in 2020, and like many people, thought it might be over soon. As the months extended, the need to find a work-around mounted so the team could give Force Support personnelists in the field information and answers to their questions.
The team recognized the need to continue base visits, even if they had to be done virtually. So the team created the Field Support televisit—a two-hour virtual meeting using Zoom.gov to share information and answer burning questions unique to the respective installation.
The team conducted its first televisit in November 2020 with Ramstein Air Base, Germany, followed by Aviano AB, Italy and Spangdahlem AB, Germany in February.
“We knew we had to return to the field and fill this information and education void,” said Anissa Carson, Civilian Field Support. “We send an email to the base to inform them we are coming and to get a feel of where they need help…typically we hear assignments and civilian staffing. We use the first hour to educate them on what Field Support offers and the second is a breakout session with AFPC subject matter experts or business process owners to address their concerns.”
Field Support offers multiple support functions and information resources that include webcasts, a monthly newsletter, and myPers knowledge articles. The most visible tool available is the Total Force Service Center, which helps answer personnel-related questions from Airmen and Guardians.
While the Field Support televisits are for the Airmen, noncommissioned officers and civilians at the military and civilian personnel flight and section levels, the information they receive benefits the entire base populace.
Field Support will complete its USAFE televisit tour in March, move to PACAF bases in the spring, and finish up the year stateside working from the West to the East coast.
“Our goal is to arm those frontline personnel professionals with information to minimize stressors, increase production and create a satisfying customer service experience for Airmen, Guardians and their families,” Carson added.