DoD

August 2, 2013

MWR officials urge furloughed civilians to tap programs

Anthony Madrid, 56th Logistics Readiness Squadron, lines up before bowling July 20 during the hook-up-to-bowling event at the Luke Air Force Base bowling center. Madrid bowled a strike during the frame.

 

WASHINGTON — With furloughs now in full swing and many Defense Department civilian employees finding themselves with more time on their hands but less money in their pockets, morale, welfare and recreation officials are encouraging them to check out some of the programs offered right where they work.

Every military service provides fitness, recreational and educational services, often at no charge or for significantly less than one might pay just outside an installation’s gates, Ed Miles, DOD’s MWR policy director, told American Forces Press Service.

The underlying goal of the MWR program is to give military members and their families, as well as military retirees, a safe, affordable outlet to reduce stress and build physical, mental and emotional strength and resilience, Miles said.

“We have a direct impact on the readiness and retention and resilience of the troops,” he said. “Without a healthy and fit force, there could be national security implications.”

So whenever possible, the services extend their morale, welfare and recreational offerings to DOD civilian employees, whom they recognize as essential contributors to their missions, Miles said.

“Wherever we have capacity to accommodate them, we encourage civilians to use these programs,” he said. “That’s not only during sequestration. We welcome them all the time.”

It’s too soon to tell if the civilian workforce is taking greater advantage of MWR facilities and programs since sequestration kicked in, but Miles said he’s expecting an uptick.

“It wouldn’t surprise me to see usage go up — not just because the rates are lower, but because making use of these facilities is so convenient,” he said.

A common access card gives DOD civilian employees access to free or low-cost use of base fitness centers, swimming pools, libraries, movie theaters, bowling alleys, clubs, arts-and-craft centers, auto repair shops, golf courses, campgrounds, shooting ranges, beaches and marinas.

Depending on the location, DOD civilians also can rent camping, boating, snorkeling, skiing and other outdoor gear at their base outdoor recreation office. They can visit the installation tickets and tours office to buy discount tickets to civilian movie theaters, theme parks and travel and tour packages.

Some civilian employees may not realize they’re also qualified to rent the recreational campgrounds, cabins, cottages, trailers and trailer or recreational vehicle parks with hook-ups found on many military installations.

For the most part, a civilian or military identification card provides access to services and programs not just where the member works, but also at other installations, even those of another service, Miles said.

That extends to the crown jewels of the MWR program: Armed Forces Recreation Center resorts at popular vacation spots. All run by the Army but open to military and civilian employees from every service, these include Shades of Green on the grounds of Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla.; the Hale Koa in Honolulu; the Edelweiss Lodge and Resort in Garmisch, Germany; and the Dragon Hill Lodge in Seoul, South Korea.

The Navy runs a similar resort-type facility, the New Sanno Hotel, in Tokyo. In addition, the Air Force has a partnership with Keystone Resort, Colo., to offer discounts at Rocky Mountain Blue, with a variety of lodging options and recreational discounts.

Like everything across the Defense Department, morale, welfare and recreation programs are getting close scrutiny as officials look for ways to cut costs. While officials strive to preserve the services offered, Miles acknowledged that in the future, costs could go up, hours could be reduced and programs not directly linked to military readiness could even fall by the wayside.

But in the meantime, he is encouraging civilian employees to make the most of the furlough situation by tapping the morale, welfare and recreation program.

“MWR is here for them,” he said. “There’s no better time than now to check out what’s available.”

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Courtesy graphic

Fitness center gets Xtreme makeover

Courtesy graphic Above is an architectural rendering of the changes to the outside of the Luke Air Force Base Bryant Fitness Center. Renovations also include a remodel of most of the interior. The project will take place over t...
 
 

People — Air Force’s greatest asset

As I reflect on almost 25 years of military service, I find it easy to remember my assignments, the multiple jobs I’ve had and duties I have performed. I have served on four continents and for four presidents. Within that same time period, our nation has been in numerous campaigns ranging from operations Desert Storm...
 
 

Character, good or bad, will be passed on

Your character is who you are when no one is watching. At the same time, your character is who you are when everyone is watching. Your character is the sum of your morals and values and the quality of your character is of the utmost importance when leading others. In addition to your own values...
 

 
Senior Airman 
JAMES HENSLEY

History gets paint job

Senior AirmanJAMES HENSLEY James Bridges and Hayden Yager, civilian contractors, prepare the F-104C Starfighter static display for painting Aug. 12 in the Luke Air Force Base Airpark. The static displays in the airpark will be ...
 
 

News Briefs August 29, 2015

Base-wide exercise The 56th Fighter Wing will begin an active-shooter exercise between 8 and 10 a.m. Thursday. It is expected to continue throughout the day. The exercise will include military and local, county and state law enforcement, and fire departments. On and off-base residents should expect traffic disruptions, gate closures or delays, and interruption of...
 
 
Tech. Sgt. 
BARBARA PLANTE

944th Airmen live life as military couple

Tech. Sgt.BARBARA PLANTE Staff Sgt. Adam Jenkins and Senior Airman Cassandra Jenkins, 944th Logistics Readiness Squadron, are a dual-military couple and work together as maintainers in the refueling vehicle maintenance shop. St...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>