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Community Action Plans impact Citizen Airmen, civilians and dependents

ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga -- Across the country, Air Force Reserve Command organizations are using their Community Action Plans to help make life better for their Reserve Citizen Airmen, Defense Department civilians and their family members.

Senior leaders understand the sacrifices Citizen Airmen take on as they work to achieve harmony in their military service, their civilian jobs, their personal wellness and their family commitments.

They also understand the importance of identifying ways to assist in reinforcing harmony and the need to preserve it. Leaders are committed to ensuring all Reservists, DOD civilians and their families have the support and resources they need. Creating and implementing well-developed Community Action Plans is a major part of this commitment.

“Community Action Plans are the roadmaps our units use to improve the support they provide to their Reservists, DOD civilians and their family members,” said Brande Newsome, community support program manager at AFRC headquarters, Robins Air Force Base, Georgia.

Every other year, all 10 Reserve host installations are required to produce a CAP to spell out two or three actionable objectives they will focus on for a two-year period of time. These objectives center around helping Airmen improve their spiritual, social, mental and physical health. This is important because Reserve Citizen Airmen will be in the future fight, in any environment and will need comprehensive fitness to succeed.

Reserve tenant units work in conjunction with their hosts to be included in the host’s CAP.

“2018 was a little different because we used a new process, called Getting to Outcomes, to produce our Community Action Plans,” Newsome said. “The Violence Prevention Integrators at our host units took the lead in the CAP process and they did a tremendous job of following the GTO program to produce meaningful and achievable Community Action Plan goals. Thanks to the VPIs, all our host wings were able to complete their CAPS in time for 2019-2020 implementation and evaluation.”

Newsome said all Air Force organizations were required to include interpersonal violence prevention as one objective in their CAP. Reserve wings were then encouraged to create two or three additional objectives targeted specifically at assisting their local populations with the challenges of striking harmony in their lives.

“I’m really excited about the objectives our wings identified in their CAPs,” Newsome said. “Whether it’s related to spiritual, social, mental or physical health and wellness, our wings picked some great areas to focus on in 2019 and beyond.”

At the HQ AFRC level, Newsome and her team decided to focus on highlighting the work being done within the wings and improving communication and information sharing with spouses and civilian employees.

“Throughout the year, we will utilize the HQ AFRC Community Action Board as a forum to highlight what our wings are doing with their Community Action Plans to allow wings to learn and benefit from what their peers are doing to take care of Airmen and their families,” said Maj. Gen. Ken Lewis, AFRC deputy commander.

“Using the 2017 Air Force Community Feedback Survey, we learned our spouses and civilian employees often feel excluded from what is happening on base, so we have made it a priority to improve communications with our spouses and civilians utilizing various initiatives and platforms,” added Newsome.

Newsome said one of the great things about the GTO process is that it encourages organizations to track their progress, determine where success is being achieved and course correct where needed as it relates to the implementation of their CAP goals. “In the past, CAPs would often be created in a vacuum and then put on a shelf somewhere until it was time to create a new one,” she said. “Thanks to our work in GTO, measuring impact and results throughout the life cycle of the CAP is now key to the process.”