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.
Anonymous crime tips possible with mobile app
Suspicious or illegal activity can now be anonymously reported directly to the Air Force Office of Special Investigations using a mobile phone application or by texting ‘AFOSI’ and the tip to 274637 (CRIMES) in an SMS text message.
AFOSI launched these methods to capitalize on cyberspace capabilities and engage the Air Force community more effectively to prevent crime.
“This tool allows anyone to provide OSI with completely anonymous tips on everything from illegal drugs, theft and terrorist activities to potential insider threats,” said Special Agent Daron Hartvigsen, OSI Cyber Investigations and Operations. “Even better, the online and app version allow individuals to send in photos.”
“We want to give Airmen a convenient, and most importantly, anonymous means to report activity detrimental to fellow Airmen. With this system they can get involved without fear of exposure or retribution from others,” said Christian Oliver, superintendent of AFOSI Detachment 116. “Airmen really want to do the right thing, but are often hesitant because of perceived social repercussions,” added Oliver.
Of special concern to Air Force officials are violent crimes against Air Force members, sexual assaults, and drug use.
MilPDS upgrade complete: Review contact information
If you married, have a new address or experienced significant life changes in March, you should review your emergency contact information to ensure it is accurate, Air Force Personnel Center officials advised.
The Military Personnel Data System manages such military personnel and pay information as accessions, separations, retirements, promotions, re-enlistments, training, mobilization and casualties. Because the system was outdated and required a complete upgrade, officials shut down the system for 17 days in March.
“During the upgrade, some individual information in the virtual Record of Emergency Data could not be updated, like marital status and personal addresses,” said Matt Siwicke, with AFPC casualty affairs.
The DD Form 93, “Record of Emergency Data,” is the source document required by law to provide emergency contact information and beneficiary designations in the event an Airman becomes a casualty. The vRED, accessible through virtual Military Personnel Flight, satisfies that requirement.
“It is your responsibility to keep this information current and completion of the document is mandatory,” Siwicke said. “If any of your applicable information changes, your vRED should be updated as soon as possible.”
Voluntary separation programs continue
Eligible officers and enlisted members have until Aug. 1 to submit their application for separation under the fiscal 2013 voluntary force management programs, Air Force officials recently reminded Airmen.
Announced in February, fiscal 2013 force management programs support the Air Force effort to reduce manning to the authorized end-strength by Sept. 30.
Officer programs, available for specific year groups and overage career fields, include time in grade waivers for eligible lieutenant colonels, limited active-duty service commitment waivers, Palace Chase transfers to the Air National Guard or Air Force Reserve, and the 10 to 8 Commissioned Years of Service Waiver program.
Enlisted voluntary programs, for those who are not in critical specialties, include limited active duty service commitment and time-in-grade waivers, waivers to enlistment contracts, and Palace Chase transfers to the Air National Guard or Air Force Reserve.
Applications, due Aug. 1, must be submitted via the virtual MPF. Those approved for retirement must retire by Sept. 1. Separations must be completed by Sept. 29.
Airmen who separate or retire must attend the mandatory five-day Transition Assistance Program workshop.
DOD works to ensure access for special needs families
Defense Department officials are working to standardize a program designed to help service members get care for family members with chronic health issues or special needs who otherwise might face forgoing an assignment or having to cut short a deployment because of an inability to find such care.
The Exceptional Family Member Program supports military families with special medical and educational needs, and the program is now in the process of being standardized across the force to make it easier for such families as they move from one assignment to another, regardless of location or military affiliation.
”Right now, each service has its own program, so by having one policy and one set of procedures, it’s going to make it much easier for families,” Ed Tyner, DOD community support for families with special needs acting deputy director, told American Forces Press Service and the Pentagon Channel.
DOD officials say the goal is to make sure no service member’s career is negatively affected by having a family member who requires special care.