Take care of responsibilities, families before deploying

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Jose Magana
  • 36th Mission Support Squadron
Air Force personnel are deploying at an all-time high, and with our downsizing we tend to be working longer hours. 

Sure you have your unit deployment manager who tracks your ancillary training, such as M-16/M-9, Law of Armed Conflict, Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosive, etc. You have the wonderful Airmen at CATMs, Civil Engineer Readiness and 736th Security Forces Squadron who provide training. 

But do you have all your paperwork ready? Do you have the correct beneficiaries on your DD Form 93, Virtual Record of Emergency Data; the correct amount on your Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance; and what about your Family Care Plan? 

Most people believe the Family Care Plan is "for emergency use only," but in reality the Department of Defense policy requires members to care for their families during deployments and temporary duties, as well as all other times. This includes base exercises and extended duty hours. 

Air Force Instruction 36-2908 establishes responsibilities and outlines procedures governing Family Care Plans. Commanders, first sergeants, supervisors, and members all have responsibilities to ensure Family Care Plans are accurate and up to date. 

The squadron commander or first sergeant must counsel all personnel with family members annually. When a member in-processes into the unit, the plan is also reviewed and certified to ensure the workability of the family care arrangement. As the supervisor of the member, you must be aware of the requirements in AFI 36-2908 and identify subordinates with unique family situations that may require a family care plan. 

Members, if changes in personal status or family circumstances require completions of an Air Force Form 357, you must notify your commander or first sergeant immediately. And most importantly, you must designate an individual to care for family members for short periods of time or for long-term care. 

Written plans are required from single parents with custody of children, military couples with dependents, and members with unique family situations as determined by the commander or first sergeant. 

These plans are maintained by the commander or first sergeant and include Air Force Form 357, copies of power of attorneys, and any additional information regarding dependents, such as special needs, language limitations, favorite toy, foods, etc. 

You have Airman taking care of you and making sure you are deployable. Make sure your family is comfortable and cared for during your absence.