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FSC gets new name, services offered evolve

The Airman and Family Readiness Center offers free internet access to military members and their family members. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Kelly LeGuillon)

The Airman and Family Readiness Center offers free internet access to military members and their family members. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Kelly LeGuillon)

INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey -- The organization Airmen have long known as the Family Support Center is now the Airman and Family Readiness Center. Along with the name change, the way the flight serves the Incirlik community has also evolved. 

The new name better reflects the services available to the base community, according to AFRC officials. 

"One of the biggest challenges the Family Support Center encountered was that the name didn't accurately describe the community we are here to support," said Janet Morrison AFRC flight chief . "We not only provide support to families, but also to single active duty members and DOD civilians." 

"There's uniqueness to everyone's needs and as consultants we can address the needs of all members of the Incirlik community," said Jodie Parker, AFRC community readiness consultant. 

The AFRC staff provides services to personnel and their families through workshops, classes and one-to-one consultations. While the AFRC still provides many of the same services the old Family Support Center did, gone are the days of a monthly calendar filled with scheduled classes. 

In addition to center-based services, the AFRC staff is mobile within units. Each squadron is assigned their own AFRC consultant who works with the squadron's commander, first sergeant, key spouses and others as necessary to determine unit needs and ensure that each unit's needs are met. 

"We used to provide services based on what we assumed people were looking for," said Ms. Morrison. "Now we do more of an assessment of what people need. We go to the spouse's groups and the commanders to find out their specific needs, what keeps them up at night, and tailor our programs to those needs." 

Some of the services offered are Family Life Education; Personal Financial Management; Career Focus; Relocation Assistance; Transition Assistance; Volunteer Resource; Readiness; Information and Referral; and Air Force Aid. The staff is composed of social scientists that are also qualified to refer members to services offered by any agency associated with the base community. 

"Our goal is to be proactive instead of reactive," said Ms. Parker. "We want to be out in the squadrons to identify concerns before they become issues. 

Another aspect of the AFRC that has changed from the ways of the FSC is the approach the staff takes with helping Team Incirlik members with their issues. 

"We used to be like mechanics, we'd like to try to fix people's problems for them," said Ms. Morrison. "Now, we're more like gardeners. Our goal is to grow healthier individuals and communities by teaching people to be self reliant and to make their own decisions. If we can show people what resources are out there to help them and that they can solve their problems on their own, they will gain confidence in making life decisions -- success builds success." 

The key word in the flight's new name is 'readiness.' It's this focus on Airman readiness that defines the mission of the AFRC. 

"Our goal is to get the warfighter out there to do their job," said Ms. Morrison. "We don't want them looking over their shoulder worrying about things at home. The ultimate goal is to eliminate distractions so Airmen can meet the needs of the mission." 

The AFRC has developed into an organization able to meet the needs of the entire military community they serve above and beyond what was available from FSC.
"We are more than just coffee and donuts," said Ms. Morrison. 

The AFRC is located in Building 3850 and is open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For more information, call 676-6755.