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News > Air Force OneSource: 'Wingman that never sleeps'
Air Force OneSource: 'Wingman that never sleeps'

Posted 8/24/2005   Updated 3/17/2006 Email story   Print story

    


by 1st Lt. Elizabeth Culbertson
USAFE News Service


8/24/2005 - RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany (USAFENS) -- U.S. Air Forces in Europe members looking for a comprehensive source of information on everything from childcare to car parts have only to pick up the phone or log on to a computer for a one-stop shop.

Air Force OneSource is a consultant service that falls under the Military OneSource program and has been available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year since 2003.

Whether members are seeking translation services, trying to ship a pet or looking for special needs care, the consultants at the two stateside call centers field all requests. Air Force OneSource is manned by trained, licensed, master’s-level consultants that have a 48-hour standard return time for requests.

“There’s not much (Air Force OneSource) can’t do,” said Gretchen Shannon, USAFE Family Matters community readiness consultant. “Instead of stressing out over a problem, let the qualified consultants do the research for you.”

The range of support services includes relocation, financial matters, family readiness, education, everyday issues, family support, emotional well-being, addiction and recovery and health and wellness, said Ms. Shannon. The consultants also offer translation services for more than 140 languages and sub-sets.

“Air Force OneSource is a ‘virtual employee’ of the family support center,” she said. “It allows active duty, Reserve and Air National Guard and their immediate family members to go into the system and receive information that will be helpful to them. It’s one of the tools in the FSC toolbox that complements the services that the family support center provides.”

Prepaid educational materials are available in a variety of formats (booklet, CD, cassette, and electronic downloads) and can be ordered via phone or online and shipped free of charge. Materials cover such varied topics as parenting, deployment, reunion, education, finance, elderly care, health and wellness, crisis support and relocation.

“The services offered are especially useful to members at geographically separated units and shift-workers,” said Ms. Shannon.

Approximately 11% of the Air Force has used AF OneSource in the last 10 months (fiscal year October 2004 - present), said Mischell Navarro, USAFE family matters acting chief. The goal is to have 15% use the service each fiscal year.

Military OneSource is constantly adding new features to its Web site, said Dr. Navarro.

“Some new, exciting additions are the free use of Turbo Tax to all service members and their families by going through the Military OneSource Web link, brand new video clips of consultants talking about emotional well being issues and the new single service member bulletin board,” said Dr. Navarro.

One of the biggest advantages to the service, said Ms. Shannon, is the availability.

“The family support center is always present, but it can’t be manned 24/7/365,” she said. “Air Force OneSource is the FSC wingman that never sleeps.”

Air Force OneSource is available online at http://www.airforceonesource.com/ or by phone (outside the U.S. ) at 800-7075-7844. Military OneSource is available at http://www.militaryonesource.com/. The site requires users to log on by using “airforce” as the user ID and “ready” as the password.



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