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Family Readiness

AIRMAN & FAMILY READINESS PROGRAM

The Wing Family Readiness Program was officially funded and operational on November 1, 2001 shortly after the aftermath of September 11th. Prior to that, family support was a program overseen by the Retention Mangement Office at Military Personnel. It's conversion into a fully funded program was to be administered by one paid staff member, the Wing Family Program Coordinator. Under that position, each of the four groups under the Wing are to have a Family Readiness Group comprised of volunteers with one designated Unit Volunteer Coordinator (UVC) and a corresponding Military Point of Contact (MPOC). Both work in unison to develop a meaningful family readiness and support service to its unit families.

Family Readiness
Readiness for families encompasses more than just the preparation for their sponsor's deployment. It includes responsibility for preparing for natural disasters, evacuation of home incidental to disasters, and accounting for personal, financial and legal affairs of their sponsor in the event of an emergency or fatality. Through involvement in the program and self-learning via on-line resources such as www.guardfamily.org, the National Guard Bureau Family Program hopes to develop 21st century National Guard families into resilient and resourceful and prepared families. Examples of readiness agencies are: Family Readiness Office, Legal Office (JAG), Employer Support to Guard & Reserve (ESGR), TriCare/TriWest, United Concordia, VA Healthcare, Benefits and Services, Military Pay, and the Chaplain.

Family Support
Prior to standing up the Family Readiness Program in 2001, this service was known as family support. Examples of known family support activities initiated by families in their local unit were hosting Meet & Greet gatherings, creating deployment "goodie bags" and coordinating a deployment send off reception or homecoming reception. However, the needs of the National Guard Bureau with respect to their goal of building strong resilient and resourceful families necessitated developing a different mindset for families that directed their focus to actively preparing for deployment year round. "Operation: Ready Families" and the term family "readiness" officially replaced the term family support in favor of developing a lifestyle that puts them in tune with their sponsor's commitment for maintaining a "ready state" for deployment.

Current programs and activities
South Bay Yellow Ribbon Committee: Spearheaded under the 129th Rescue Wing Family Readiness Program, this formation supports the recent DoD directive to roll out a Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program. Pending further detailed guidance from National Guard Bureau, this is a forward-leaning committee established Oct. 10, 2008. The committee is centered around formulating a viable plan of action for carrying out the Yellow Ribbon directive in a matter efficacious to all services.

Military School Liaison Committee
This is a Joint Services committee comprised of Active Duty Army Child & Youth Coordinator, Army Reserves Child & Youth Services as well as the 129th Rescue Wing National Guard Family Program Office. Established in October 2008, this committee works with local county school district senior leaders to ensure teachers and school staffs are made aware of the distinctive lifestyle of military kids. It also makes multiple resources available to both staff and kids as they experience deployments.

Volunteer Opportunities
The role you play in our FRG is your choice. There are many projects to become involved in and each is important. Opportunities are available with communication, newsletters, hospitality, social functions, materials preparation and there are many training programs available. Additionally, recruitment for these positions are not confined to family members. Veterans, retirees and private citizens from the community who desire to support our local service members and their families are welcome! Volunteers with strong leadership skills are currently sought to fill the position of Unit Volunteer Coordinator for the 129th Operations Group. For more information, call the Wing Family Program Coordinator.

The Wing Family Readiness Group meets monthly during the Saturday of UTAs from 1:00 to 2:00 pm