FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. --
Fairchild Air Force Base hosted a Military Family Summit Caucus August 17, 2022. The summit included topics such as spouse employment and licensure, child care, health, education and housing. Below are some of the questions the Fairchild community.
Q: Is there anything Air Force Personnel Center can do to remove barriers and stigma for Exceptional Family Member Program families?
A: It helps that the Chief Staff of the Air Force (CSAF) is an Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) member and there are conversations being had at the highest levels. The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) has amendments to help with things like advanced enrollments, but there is more work to do. We keep making advances, but they need to hear what is required from those who are currently in those situations (military families, service members, etc.). She would like to believe we are making progress on the EFMP stigma. There is an increased recognition from leaders on the importance of providing that support.
Q: Can you provide updates on Fiscal Year ‘23 NDAA on food insecurities?
A: It passed the house and is now waiting on the Senate on provisions. It’s a ‘must pass’ bill, so it will be a priority. There is a growing recognition across the board on the frustrations with inflation.
Q: Will Congress be able to make the Autism Care Demonstration a full health benefit for Active Duty members, like retirees. There are currently too many “hoops” to jump through to get it approved.
A: They are reviewing it because applied behavioral analysis therapy is not considered a standard treatment. This needs to be looked into because it’s been utilized through Tricare for retirees, but will looked at for future utilization on the active duty side.
For immediate help an EFMP representative encouraged families to get with their local EFMP office to assist.
Q: What is a major take away from you?
A: FAFB is doing well on most fronts, but the challenges across the military as whole when it comes to supporting families, continue to affect FAFB. There is still work to do in order to get the consistency in place for supporting military families on these issues. Also, as we are seeing an increased cost of living across the board, the pay and support for families is not keeping up and this is causing significant challenges and tolls on the military families.