by 1st Lt. Derek White
Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs
WASHINGTON (AFNS) — Air Force officials have launched a new Web site to showcase the Year of the Air Force Family effort.
Airmen and their families can log on to http://www.af.mil/yoaff/index.asp to learn about AF-wide initiatives, monthly themes and programs, as well as contact local installation Airman Family and Readiness Centers to find out about local events and activities.
Earlier this year Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz and Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley designated July 2009 to July 2010 as the “Year of the Air Force Family,” a year-long focus on Air Force programs highlighting the importance of, and commitment to, the entire Air Force family: all Airmen, married and single; spouses; children; Air Force civilians; extended families; and retirees.
“We will devote this year to identifying what we are doing right and what we need to do better to support the entire Air Force family, and to rekindle the sense of community that has been our tradition for so many generations,” General Schwartz said.
Findings from the April “Caring for People” forum provided direction for the year-long focus that highlights improvements to existing programs. It also introduces new initiatives built on four pillars that meet the unique needs of Air Force families to include health and wellness; Airman and family support; education, development and employment; and Airman and family housing.
Together with Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force James Roy, the service’s senior leaders are addressing key areas of concern to Airmen. Some of the programs receiving special emphasis include deployment support, fitness, family safety awareness, exceptional family member programs and single Airmen Initiatives.
“You can rest assured that taking care of families is a solemn promise we make to each Airman and family and one that Chief Roy, General Schwartz, and I each take very seriously,” Secretary Donley said. “And we make this commitment not only because it’s the right thing to do for our Airmen, but because it is the smart thing to do for our Air Force.”
Airmen and their families can expect programs and events tailored to the needs of their individual communities. It may include reintroducing family support programs already available to them today, as well as announcing new initiatives that will serve as model Airman and family support programs long into the future.
“The strength of the nation’s Air Force is not the platforms we operate or the technologies we employ, as good as they are,” General Schwartz said. “It is our Airmen and their families. The Air Force is a great place to work, live, and play. Our intent is to make it even better.”