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NEWS | Jan. 30, 2018

Collaboration helps Community Action Team identify trends

By Airman Helena Owens Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs

The Community Action Team is a group that focuses on collaboration as a tool to identify the needs and trends of service members and their families here. The goal of the Community Action Team is to build healthy military and family members through partnership between agencies on base.

The team consists of 15 agencies on base that provide assistance such as the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program, Equal Opportunity, Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment program, and many more. The Community Action Team also consists of subject matter experts from various units across the joint base installation.

“The community action team is really beneficial to the base population because it provides resources to address all types of different needs,” said Dr. Mamie Futrell, SAPR Program manager. “Having an action team with all the different agencies coming together allows us to address a wide range of issues versus everybody working individually.”

Collaboration helps the team identify trends and issues more effectively. The Community Action Team gathers and uses the data to develop workshops and classes to address concerns found throughout the base population.

“When we come together monthly to talk about the trends we are experiencing, we start talking about the costs of the programs we are offering,” said Toby Housey, the director of the Equal Opportunity office here. “If they don’t meet needs of the people, they’re unnecessary and are a waste of money.”

Michelle McMeekin, Joint Base Charleston community support coordinator, said the main benefit of having a Community Action Team is to facilitate collaboration between agencies at Joint Base Charleston to find common issues within the base population. If there are issues with resources, such as funding or policies preventing effective collaboration, the team has the ability to forward the data up the chain of command for resolution.

“When we come together as the collective Community Action Team rather than individual agencies, we have a greater scope,” said McMeekin. “It helps us get to the heart of issues or concerns our base may be facing.”

Community Action Teams are established Air Force wide but the unique challenge Joint Base Charleston faces is its joint structure and environment. Since the Community Action Team is mandated by the Air Force, it creates challenges when determining how to support other services. Despite this challenge, McMeekin encourages other services to use the Community Action Team’s resources and to come to them for guidance.

Joint Base Charleston’s Community Action Team developed four themes for this year, to include “Building our Teams,” “Building our Future,” “Building our Communities” and “Building our Families.” The idea is to focus on one theme per quarter using classes, workshops or events to emphasize those core areas.

“The ultimate success story for the Community Action Team would be a healthy, thriving military community that shows resiliency evidenced by our population demonstrating healthy positive behaviors,” said McMeekin. “If 95 percent of the population does the right thing, makes the right choice and demonstrates the appropriate behaviors. We want to continue that.”

“We want to help them continue to make good choices,” said McMeekin. “We want to offer opportunities through classes, training, workshops or help that will allow them to develop skills or improve current ones.” 

McMeekin said through the resources and help provided the end goal is a better, more resilient community.

“Ultimately, we want to enhance their human performance and potential, whether that’s being a good Airman, wingman, leader, supervisor, spouse, parent or human being,” said McMeekin.  “That’s a good day for the Community Action Team.”

If agencies, groups or individuals are interested in getting involved in the monthly meetings and being a representative for their agency, they should contact Ms. McMeekin, 843-673-5476, for more information. Please visit the link to access a list of dates classes are being offered.