Airmen, Family Quality of Life Summit addresses D&I, housing, more

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Kiaundra Miller
  • 92nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

Fairchild hosted an Airmen and Family Quality of Life Summit with key community leaders to address issues affecting members of Team Fairchild here, May 25, 2021.

The summit featured discussions between Fairchild leadership and community members, aimed to improve access to affordable housing, childcare availability, and spousal licensure, as well as the education of military children and the importance of diversity and inclusion in our military and community.

Diversity and inclusion is vital to a strong integrated community and was a conversation at the forefront of the summit.

“Our team values the diversity we have among our ranks,” said Col. Cassius Bentley, 92nd Air Refueling Wing commander. “Working together as a team to create a stronger, healthier, and safer space for our Airmen and the community is vital to mission success.”

In addition to diversity and inclusion, improving accessibility and opportunities for spouses to obtain job licenses was a key topic at the summit.

“We have made great strides in making the process of joining Team Fairchild seamless for spouses with specialty licenses, like real estate, cosmetology, nursing, and more, but we are constantly striving to further improve the lives of our Airmen and their loved ones,” Bentley said. “We recruit our Airmen but we retain them by helping their families.”

The importance and growing need for childcare was also highlighted, with an emphasis on the  impacts of COVID-19.

“Childcare has been a growing concern for not only Fairchild Airmen, but the members of the community as well,” said Chief Master Sgt. Daniel Guzman, 92nd Air Refueling Wing command chief. “Being able to sit down and have these discussions proved to be beneficial in finding solutions moving forward.”

In addition to childcare, educating members of the community about Fairchild’s role and different aspects of the Air Force has a growing level of importance.

“We are extremely grateful for our local community and their outstanding support,” Bentley said. “We want to be able to spotlight what our Airmen do on a day-to-day basis through potential school visits and community outreach.”

Like childcare, affordable housing is a growing concern within the Spokane community, prompting serious conversations regarding accommodating both the community and Airmen.

Fairchild leadership plans to host subsequent summits in the future, acknowledging the need to continue the conversations to work toward viable solutions.

“We realize that we’re not going to find all the answers we need today,” Bentley said. “Making changes takes time, and having constant discussions like these works towards ensuring the community and Airmen are given the best access to resources possible, improving everyone’s quality of life.”