Editor’s Note: The “People First” section is compiled from information from the Air Force Personnel Center, TRICARE, 56th Force Support Squadron, Airman and Family Readiness Flight, Veterans Affairs, the civilian personnel office and armed forces news services. For the complete story, go to the web address listed at the end of the story.
Registration for CCAF-credit culture course available now
The Air Force Culture and Language Center, part of the Air University’s Spaatz Center, is now accepting applications for the spring 2013 session of its introduction to culture course.
The self-paced ITC course is entirely online and is offered at no charge to enlisted active-duty Airmen, air reservists and guardsmen enrolled in a Community College of the Air Force program.
Enrollment continues through March 20. Participants are encouraged to enroll early, said AFCLC officials. There has been a significant increase in student demand for the two online culture courses offered to enlisted Airmen since the center began offering the classes in 2009.
“It’s a testament to how important cross-cultural competence is in today’s global Air Force. Airmen value these courses because the content is useful and relevant to their missions, and we’ll continue to work with our students to improve the courses based on student feedback,” said Jay Warwick, AFCLC director.
Seeing clearly: Air Force helps Airmen correct vision
Lasers are in the business of helping Airmen see the clearest they can through corneal refractive surgeries, better known as LASIK and PRK, which can also help the Air Force mission.
The Air Force is the strongest proponent for its Airmen to have the surgery, and will even pay for the procedure.
Reducing an Airmen’s need for corrective lenses will help with their performance of operational duties and the doctors at the Maxwell clinic are ready to walk them through each step, according to Staff Sgt. Andrew Rodriguez of the 42nd Medical Group Optometry Flight.
Briefings for the refractive procedures, given at the Maxwell medical clinic are 3 p.m. every first and third Mondays of the month explain the differences between the two types of surgeries and the requirements and disqualifications for each.
AF releases pay and allowances continuation program
Air Force senior leaders recently released Air Force policy on the Pay and Allowance Continuation program for Airmen who become wounded or ill while supporting a combat contingency.
With the release of the Air Force PAC program policy, AFGM 34-02, Airmen will now officially have their own policy, tailored specifically for the Air Force.
PAC, which replaced the Combat-Related Injury Rehabilitation Pay program, was implemented in 2008. With the signing of the PAC policy, benefits for Airmen have been clarified.
“If an Airman gets injured or wounded in (the combat) theater, and is evacuated, there will be no gap in the Airman’s specialty pay or incentives,” said Tim Townes, Air Force Survivor Assistance program manager. “Any special pay or entitlements that the Airman was receiving for the conditions of their deployment will continue up until the Airman is fit to return to duty, or up to 12 months.”
A major concern motivating publication of the policy was the uncertainty Airmen had of their benefits.
Like most people, Airmen make financial plans. With the Air Force PAC program, those plans become easier to make, and remove one variable that comes with a deployment.
“We know that many Airmen make financial plans based around deployments,” Townes said. “If their deployment pay stopped, it could have a devastating impact on their financial situation. That’s why the PAC is important.”
Transition signals members to update referrals before April
Beginning April 1, UnitedHealthcare Military & Veterans will become the West Region Managed Care Support contractor. As part of the transition, referrals written prior to April 1 will expire May 31. The 412th Medical Group urges patients to proactively book appointments to prevent delays in receiving care. If the referral does expire, call (661)
277-7118 to book an appointment and receive a new referral. Referrals written starting April 1 will last the usual six months.
UnitedHealthcare, a UnitedHealth Group company, was awarded the Defense Department’s TRICARE Managed Care Support contract to provide health care services for active-duty and retired military service members and their families in the West Region.
UnitedHealth Military & Veterans Services will be the Managed Care Support contractor serving nearly 2.9 million TRICARE beneficiaries in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa (excluding Rock Island Arsenal area), Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri (excluding the St. Louis area), Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, portions of Texas (including El Paso), Utah, Washington and Wyoming.