A&FRC connects Airmen with resources

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Christopher Carranza
  • 403rd Wing Public Affairs

The 403rd Wing’s Airman and Family Readiness Center is a one-stop-shop that connects Reserve Citizen Airmen with a variety of programs and resources that are available for their betterment.

Programs such as the Transition Assistance Program, deployment support, personal financial readiness, employment assistance, and childcare are some of the many that are offered to make sure Airmen get the information they need.

The 403rd Wing A&FRC team is led by Patricia Jackson, director, and is supported by Tech. Sgt. Coleen Powell, noncommissioned officer in charge, and Staff Sgt. Veronica Carr, readiness officer.

“We provide information and referrals to our members in regards to the Reserves,” said Powell. “The biggest program we facilitate is the Transition Assistance Program, because the event entails a lot of information.” 

In 2011, the legislation under the Veterans Opportunity to Work Act mandates service members must complete: Pre-separation counseling, the Transition Goals, Plans, Success workshop, Veterans Affairs Benefits and Services briefing, and a capstone event. The mandatory programs are for anyone who has completed an order of at least 180 days, even if they are not leaving the Air Force Reserve.

“TAP is a five-day course, which is congressionally mandated, that includes all the information a separating service member would need to be successful outside of the military,’ said Powell. “Also, reservists who sign up will be put on orders and paid for the duration of the course.”

The A&FRC can also assist in sign up for free childcare for reservists which is provided by the Keesler Family Child Care program. In conjunction with the 81st Force Support Squadron community childcare coordinator, Anita Hymes, 403rd Wing members can request childcare assistance during the Unit Training Assembly.

“Members of the 403rd Wing can submit their requests for childcare to either Patricia Jackson or myself,” said Hymes. “When submitting requests, we need at least a month in advance and up to three months can be scheduled at a time, for proper processing.”

If a military or family member has a need or question that the A&FRC can’t directly assist with or answer, the member will be referred to an agency that can assist.

“We’re here to provide our members with information and answer their questions,” said Jackson. “If we do not have the answer, we will find it.”

The A&FRC is open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Fridays. They are located in the Sablich Center, room 110.

“I am here all week and during the UTA weekends,” Jackson said.  “We’re here to assist our Airmen and their families as best as we can.”

For more information call 228-377-0557 or 228-376-8253.