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.
Air Force Food Transformation Initiative enters second phase
Airmen at five installations will see a new era in food service operations as the Air Force Food Transformation Initiative moves into its second phase.
The initiative, known as FTI, is a pilot program designed to provide Airmen greater variety, availability, and quality of food, while maintaining home station and warfighting feeding capabilities.
The second phase of FTI is underway at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., Ellsworth AFB, S.D., F.E. Warren AFB, Wyo., Beale AFB, Calif., and Vandenberg AFB, Calif.
Throughout 2013, these bases will renovate their dining facilities to convert them from an institutional-style feeding platform to station feeding found on most college campuses. Beale AFB and Vandenberg AFB closed their dining facilities May 1 to begin renovations, while the dining facility at Ellsworth AFB currently under renovation will re-open June 3.
“Campus-style dining is designed to allow Airmen on essential station messing to eat at the dining facility or any of the other force support squadron’s nonappropriated fund morale, welfare, and recreation food and beverage outlets on base,” said Fred McKenney, the chief of Air Force Food and Beverage. “It provides Airmen the option to use their meal card entitlement at more convenient locations to where they work or reside.”
DEERS locks down access to some information updates
Base identification card issuing offices will no longer be able to manually correct or update certain types of personnel information in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System, Air Force Personnel Center officials said May 9.
DEERS is the system used to enroll Airmen and their eligible family members for an identification card and associated benefits such as medical and dental care, federal installation access and access to installation facilities such as the commissary or exchange.
DEERS updates are required for major life events that change an Airman’s status, including marriage, divorce, birth or death of a dependent, promotion, reenlistment, extension, retirement, separation or unit transfer to another branch of service or agency. Personnel specialists use the Real-time Automated Personnel Identification System to update DEERS.
In past, RAPIDS customer service representatives could manually update or correct members’ DEERS information. Now, access to member citizenship, date of birth, gender, social security number, name, service dates, civilian or contractor employment dates, Air National Guard or Reserve activation periods and member separation transition benefit information is locked down. The lockdown does not affect dependent family member record information that needs to be updated.
DARPA seeks bold, imaginative, innovative officers
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency needs eight motivated officers for the fiscal 2013 Service Chiefs’ Fellows Program, Air Force Personnel Center officials announced.
Application packages for the three-month program, which begins in September, are due to the AFPC officer developmental education branch by May 31, said Master Sgt. Teresa Dixon, the branch’s superintendent.
“This program is for highly motivated, active-duty officers who have demonstrated outstanding leadership abilities in operational positions and who have clear potential to move into senior operational leadership positions,” she said.
According to Dixon, the program exposes rising military officers to a unique organization with the mission of rapidly developing imaginative, innovative, and often high-risk research ideas.
“The significant technological impact these officers will have goes well beyond the normal evolutionary approach,” she said.
DARPA Service Chiefs’ Fellow Program members provide valuable input into technology development efforts during the program, and continue to serve as liaisons between DARPA and the services after completion, Dixon said. DARPA funds all temporary duty travel, lodging, and per diem during the program.
Official warns of predatory businesses, offers Airmen finance tips
Holly Petraeus, the head of the Office of Servicemember Affairs at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, discussed predatory business practices and personal financial tips with the military community at Yokota Air Base, Japan May 6.
Petraeus visited Yokota AB to hear first-hand of service members’ financial hardships and to inform service members of her role at the CFPB, which opened its doors less than two years ago in the wake of the U.S. economic recession.