Air Force

July 26, 2013

Class gives tips on making move smooth

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Staff Sgt. C.J. HATCH
56ht Fighter Wing Public Affairs

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Every year hundreds of military families move from one base to another and each move gets a little easier, but who said it didn’t have to be easy to start with.

The 56th Force Support Squadron’s Airman and Family Readiness Center is here to help make it easy for everyone, whether it’s the first or last move, with the smooth move program.

“Smooth move is a one-stop shop for those going through a permanent change of station,” said Sandra Gray, 56th FSS A&FRC community readiness consultant. “The PCS process can be hard having to run around from place to place for information. We bring the information to one place to make it easier for Luke members.”

A smooth move briefing is held the last Tuesday of the month. Airmen with PCS orders can talk with representatives from the travel management office, finance, Tricare and the A&FRC.

“At some bases the smooth move brief is mandatory,” Gray said. “Here we are still optional. The brief lets us help our military members have a better move. For those who have moved before, the brief is a time for them to ask questions, and for those who are moving for the first time, we talk and help them understand what questions they should be asking.”

For many Luke Air Force Base members it is their first time moving, so they don’t know what to expect at their new location.

“Not only can we help Luke members with a smooth move from here but a smooth arrival at their next location,” Gray said. “We can contact their gaining base and figure out things like who their sponsor is in case they haven’t been in touch with one. We have a lot of resources available that can make a PCS easy.”

One of the resources available to Airmen is the plan my move website. Plan my move is an online moving tool that simplifies the moving process by breaking it down into clear, manageable steps for both experienced and first-time movers.

The site provides Airmen with access to information about their entitlements and benefits, points of contact, checklists, planning tools, and information on education and employment. Plan my move can put them and their family in charge of a smooth relocation to a new duty assignment.

A&FRC staff members also recommend going to www.militaryinstallations.dod.mil where members can look up their new duty station and get information including fact sheets, installation contacts, local community information and photos of their new base.

“We recommend this briefing to everyone,” Gray said. “If someone has moved before or not, especially overseas for the first time, we can help. We will help guide people through medical paperwork, when to schedule household goods pickup and what allowances are available.”

The briefing is open to military members and their families and all are encouraged to attend.

“The smooth move brief was very beneficial for me,” said Heather Garrard, who recently attended the smooth move briefing at Luke before PSCing with her husband. “Every spouse should go to this brief. It helped so much. I thought I knew a lot about the moving process, but after attending I found out how little I knew. Finance was helpful and they had a brief to help people know how to prepare for the movers, what to do and what not to do. This brief was definitely the best thing I did.”

For more information or to sign up for the smooth move briefing, call the A&FRC at 623-856-6550.




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