Are you ready for 'mo?'

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Charlene Lowe
  • 459th Mission Support Flight
Your orders just arrived in the mail today. Sixty days away from your family, what are you going to do? So many questions are going through your mind. Who is going to pick up your child from preschool? What happens if your spouse gets sick? Are your spouse and your child enrolled in Defense Eligibility Enrollment Reporting System (DEERS)? Can they remain on base? Can your family reach you in case of an emergency? But the main question is, "Is your family ready to deploy?"

If you are like most Reservists, you haven't really given these questions much thought, though deployment and readiness are the responsibilities of Reservists. We don't always consider how deployments impact our families -- until it happens.

Family readiness is basically being prepared for family separations and deployments. Family separation is a major part of military life. Members are able to perform their responsibilities better when they know that their family is being taken care of at home. This is where the Airman and Family Readiness Office steps in .

The Airman Family Readiness Office was created after Desert Storm. The military realized that they were not adequately providing support for the member's families who were left behind. Now the two main objectives are to assists members who prepare for deployment and to provide resources and support to the family while the member is away.

Our first objective is to provide each member a deployment package. In this package we provide basic deployment information, will worksheet , Power of Attorney information and a What's Next Book. Our What's Next pamphlet is designed to help Air Force Reserve members and their families make the most of their association with the Air Force Reserves. As the member processes through the deployment line we provide materials to assist with their preparation.

Our second objective is to become the point of contact for any family issues that might arise while the member is deployed. Prior to the deployment the Airman and Family Readiness Office asks the deployer to complete an AFRES Form 73. This form provides the proper family contact information. Our goal is to answer all questions in the absence of the sponsor. Our goal is also to provide continuous outreach by monthly contact. Since each family's needs are different we have various referral services to address specific needs.

Whether you live close to Andrews Air Force Base or are not a resident of Maryland, you can obtain the following services at any military installation dispite the branch of service:
-- Morale call weekly phone call
-- Monthly family contacts
-- Readiness workshops
-- Support groups (through our active duty counterpart)
-- Tricare information
-- Money Management Child Care (during UTA/Deployments)
-- Military One Source resources

If you are unsure if your family is prepared for a future deployment, stop by the Airman and Family Readiness office, Building 3755, Room 130. We are open for business from 7 a.m. to 4 a.m. during each primary UTA. Our office staff would be pleased to answer any questions. Call us at 240-857-7048 or 1684, leave a message and we'll return the call. Or contact us toll tree at 1-877-252-3758. Any emergencies can be directed through the 459th Air Refueling Wing Command Post at 202-528-7615. We can help you find the answers to all your deployment questions and more. Let us prepare you and your family for your next deplyoment.