The Airman and Family Readiness Center, JBER-E, is in Bldg. 8535 (Log Cabin), 907-552-4943, and the Army’s, JBER-R (ACS), is in Bldg. 600, A-139, 907-384-1517. Their mission is to support readiness and unit retention by helping individuals and families adapt to the demands of military life and by assisting unit leadership in responding effectively to family needs. The staff provides programs and services designed to help families meet the challenges of military life in Alaska.
JBER has one of the most active Key Spouse programs in the U.S. Air Force. With more than 100 Key Spouses actively involved, this group meets and trains frequently. These Key Spouses are a valuable resource for commanders and first sergeants, ensuring that information is available to meet the needs of Air Force families at JBER.
The Hearts Apart Program provides support to families whose military member is deployed or serving a remote tour. Hearts Apart offers information and referral, personal support and group activities.
The MFRC’s Employment Education and Skills Development programs are among the best in the military. A comprehensive employment assistance program provides information and extensive referrals to the local job market, a career interest survey and a top-notch resume assistance service. Additionally, spouses can attend a number of employment seminars on everything from interviewing techniques and professional job search skills to navigating the federal government’s employment site, USAJobs.
The Air Force Transition Assistance Program (TAP) and the Soldier for Life-Transition Assistance Program (SFL-TAP) are designed to help active-duty people retiring or separating from the military. In addition to employment concerns, TAP counselors can assist with information on benefits and entitlements and provide links to an established network of agencies in the local area. Working closely with the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development and the Department of Veterans Affairs, TAP helps veterans get the right information when they need it.
The MFRCs also maintain a state-of-the-art resource center. The resource center provides computers and laser printers for clientele to use during all aspects of a comprehensive job search. It is equipped with resume software; application software with information for both federal and state employment; job search software including America’s Job Bank; and other resources. Help is available for using the hardware and software.
The Volunteer Resource Program provides centralized recruitment, training and recognition. Family members wishing to volunteer can meet with a staff member who will help them review options and who can provide information on the wealth of volunteer opportunities on JBER and in the local community. Volunteer coordinators also assist supervisors with volunteer placement and problem-solving.
The Air Force Aid Society (AFAS) Program is also in the center. AFAS offers loans and grants to help Air Force members meet the basic needs of day-to-day living and emergency situations. The program also offers loans and grants for special circumstances, including permanent change of station relocation and scholarships for family members.
The MFRCs also play a crucial role in base readiness by helping service members and their families, Department of Defense civilians and their families prepare for and cope with deployment, extended temporary duty and remote assignments.
The Information, Referral and Follow-up (I&R) Program inprocesses and outprocesses all newcomers, provides individual and family assessment and assistance, provides information about community resources and outreach assistance, and offers help in problem resolution.
The I&R staff can help clients find answers to unusual problems or locate information that is not readily available.
The Mobilization and Deployment (M&D) Readiness Program is managed by the Family Readiness manager and staff to promote well-informed, self-sufficient and confident Army families, reducing their stress and isolation by linking them quickly with their new community.
The M&D program manager is the primary support person for Family Readiness Group (FRG) training, coordination and liaison. The FRG is a primary communication bridge between unit commanders and family members. The program coordinator presents both regularly scheduled and special rear detachment operations training, mobilization and deployment briefings, and other special programs for Soldiers and family members. Mobilization and Deployment provides support and resources for rear detachments during deployments.
The M&D staff also promotes self-reliance by educating service members and their families about preparing families for deployment. Unit family readiness groups and rear detachment commanders are given information and training on strategies for coping with military separation.
The M&D staff provides assistance in preparing units for deployment such as briefings and information on community resources, financial preparedness, maintaining family relationships and what to expect when the deployed Soldier returns home.
The Armed Forces Family Team Building Program manager and master trainers inform family members about the military, allowing Service members and families to improve their local community. They work closely to strengthen the overall readiness of the force, teaching and promoting personal and family readiness through progressive and sequential education for everyone from newcomers to seasoned veterans. Topics vary from military customs and courtesies to leadership skills and group conflict management. Soldiers can earn promotion points by completing AFTB training in a combination of online and classroom settings.
The Joint Family Action Plan (JFAP) Program gives grassroots support to service members and their families. They work to raise issues as far as Headquarters, Department of the Army; Headquarters, Department of the Air Force; and Congress to change laws to improve the quality of life and community well-being when circumstances, finances and regulations block changes that could benefit the local installation. Most local JFAP issues are resolved through the local program; those that are not are forwarded up the chain of command as necessary to achieve resolution.
The MFRCs are the base focal point for Relocation Assistance. Staff members provide guidance on relocation concerns and provide information including crossing the Canadian border, traveling across the United States and getting established in Alaska or future locations. The MFRCs also have loan closets equipped with household items for temporary loan to relocating members waiting for delivery of their household goods. The program also provides an outstanding Joint Newcomer’s Orientation for service members and families arriving at JBER.
The MFRCs also boast great Financial Readiness Programs providing information and education on financial matters. Individual consultation and classroom seminars are offered that include budget counseling, debt liquidation and credit information, consumer education and checkbook management assistance. Consumer assistance with handling deceptive, illegal or unethical business practices is also available. Financial Readiness training is also provided to all First-Term Service members. Family members are encouraged to attend.
The Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) provides social services support, information and advocacy to family members with special needs. EFMP links exceptional family members to proper services and, upon departure, screens them again to ensure proper services will be in place at the next duty station.
The EFMP managers advocate for and provide direct casework services to EFMP clients and follow up with them and their service providers to ensure they are receiving appropriate services. The manager maintains up-to-date and accurate information on available resources and assists EFMP clients to prepare for their next duty assignments.
Military and Family Life Consultant Program (MFLC): Need to talk? Is something different? Feeling out of control? MFLCs are available to provide short-term confidential assistance to service members and families. Call 907-382-8909 or go to www.dmva.alaska.gov/family/MFLC for information or assistance.
Army Emergency Relief (AER): The AER program falls under Army Support Activity. Call 907-384-7478 or go to http://myarmybenefits.us.army.mil/Home/Benefit_Library/Resource_Locator/Alaska.html for information.