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November 21, 2013

Helping them help you

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Airman 1st Class Saphfire Cook
355th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Saphfire Cook)
Bryan Hopper, Airman and Family Readiness Center community readiness specialist, plugs in one of more than 20 new monitors the A&FRC received through the General Services Administration Federal Acquisition Service. The monitors were excess equipment and were matched with the A&FRC through GSA, a company that assists government agencies with the procurement of items such as office supplies, computer products, security and furniture.

The Airman and Family Readiness Center here caters to all members of the Desert Lightning Team, whether they are active-duty retirees or families. With such a broad customer base, the A&FRC sees a lot of business and they recently received a systems upgrade to increase the quality of their services.

The facility received 24 computer monitors from the local General Services Administration Federal Acquisition Service.

The GSA Federal Acquisition Service assists government agencies with the procurement of items such as office supplies, computer products, security and furniture.

“There’s a program out there called GSA Access, and government facilities put all their extra equipment in this computer-based system,” said Bryan Hopper, A&FRC community readiness specialist. “Anyone with access to the system can look for any equipment they might need. If they find anything, they contact the owner and arrange to pick it up.”

This transaction was not a purchase, but rather a reallocating of equipment, so it cost nothing. The A&FRC received their new equipment through GSA and Randal Patterson, GSA area property manager for Arizona.

“I was first introduced to the A&FRC while doing business here on base,” Patterson said. “While I was here, I was talking about a promotion I was applying for and my colleague asked if I needed help with my résumé. He told me as a Navy retiree, I could go to the A&FRC and they would help me.”

Patterson made an appointment with the facility and started working on his résumé with the staff.

“During some of my appointments I used the customer service computers, and I noticed how small the monitors were,” Patterson said. “Then one day on a job I had a company who needed to move some monitors to make room for new ones and I said ‘I actually know a place that could use these.’”

The monitors came from a company in Phoenix. Patterson signed the equipment into his custody while he was there.

“That’s not usually how we do business,” Patterson said. “Normally I would contact the A&FRC and let them know the equipment was available, and then they call the company to set up the transfer. But I thought ‘why make them pay shipping and handling fees when I’m already here?’”

Once they were in his custody, Patterson loaded all 24 monitors into his car and drove them to D-M himself.

The new monitors are slated to be set up in employee offices as well as the customer service center.

“I think that everything the A&FRC does here, with helping active duty and retirees, and their families, is just phenomenal,” Patterson said. “Before I came in I didn’t even know there were websites I could visit to create a résumé; it was a completely new process for me. Having the A&FRC assist me with applying for that position really showed me how important they are to the people on this base.”




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(U.S. Air Force Illustration by Airman 1st Class Cheyenne Morigeau)

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