NEWS | Sept. 17, 2014

A&FRC, FFSC assist service members, families' needs throughout their career, beyond

By Staff Sgt. William A. O'Brien Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs

The Joint Base Charleston Airman and Family Readiness and Fleet and Family Support Centers are resources available on the installation for service members and their families to receive the tools, training and guidance they need to navigate the unique challenges of military service.

Both facilities provide programs to service members from all military branches including active duty, National Guard and Reserves, along with their families and retirees. They also offer office hours at the Naval Nuclear Power Training Command's Rickover Center to make it easier for Sailors attending school to utilize their services.

"We prepare people to approach life's challenges in a positive way by being proactive," said Elsa Summers, A&FRC director. "The staffs of both family centers are available to assist military members and their families during every phase of their military career."

From the moment a service member arrives at their first duty station until long after they retire, the A&FRC and FFSC have classes suited to fit their needs, as well as their families. These classes include spouse introduction events, basic resume writing, pre-separation counseling, benefits workshops and much more.

"When you first arrive at a base you may not have any furniture yet or know the base and local area," said Anna Flowers, FFSC director. "We're able to help make connections with resources in the community. When service members get married, frequently military life is very foreign to their new spouse. We're here to help them acclimate to that. We also offer programs to keep them connected during deployments through the Key Spouses Program and the Ombudsman Program."

The A&FRC and FFSC also have a variety of classes to prepare service members to budget their spending and stay out of debt. 

"We have programs for that 18-year old service member who is now just getting their first full-time job, to teach them the basics of spending money wisely along with a variety of other needs they may have during that time in their life," said Flowers. "As they progress through their career and buy a house, get promoted or have children ... we have financial courses to help them with those new aspects of their life and at the end of their time in the service, through our programs, we can help them become career ready for the outside job market."

The A&FRC and FFSC aren't just limited to offering classes at their facilities. Through their command/unit community readiness consultants, commanders can identify specific needs their service members might need and arrange for A&FRC or FFSC members to come to their units to teach a specific class during a commander's call.

The A&FRC and FFSC are both fundamental parts of the Integrated Delivery System at Joint Base Charleston. IDS is a working group consisting of organizations that provide family services, prevention programs and educational activities related to individual, family and community concerns.

For more information on their programs and services, visit the A&FRC at the Air Base at 104 E. Simpson St, building 500 or call 963-4406. The FFSC is located at 1005 Jefferson Ave., building 755 on the Weapons Station or call 794-7481.

You can also find them on the web at www.JBCharleston.com or connect with the family centers on Facebook: FFSC https://www.facebook.com/JBCharlestonFleetAndFamilySupportCenter A&FRC https://www.facebook.com/JBCharlestonAirmanAndFamilyReadinessCenter.