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.
TRICARE moves forward with prime area reductions
Defense Department officials will reduce the number of TRICARE Prime service areas in the United States beginning Oct. 1, affecting about 171,000 retirees and their family members.
Those beneficiaries, who mostly reside more than 40 miles from a military clinic or hospital, received a letter earlier this year explaining their options. They will receive a second letter later this month.
TRICARE Management Activity officials said changing the location of Prime service areas has been planned since 2007 as part of the move to the third-generation of managed care support contracts and will allow them to continue their commitment to making high-quality health care available while supporting DOD efforts to control the rising cost of health care for 9.6 million beneficiaries.
Health care under TRICARE Prime costs about $600 more annually per enrollee, but on average, each member of a family of three using TRICARE Standard will pay only about $20 more per month than if they were using Prime.
Deadline nears for SNCOA course 14, V5 completion
Students enrolled in Senior Noncommissioned Officer Academy Course 14 Version 5 have until the end of September to complete the course or they will be automatically disenrolled and will have to complete the new version of the course.
Airmen who haven’t completed version 5 by Sept. 30 will not receive credit for the coursework in version 6, said the director of education for the Thomas N. Barnes Center for Enlisted Education, Maxwell Air Force Base-Gunter Annex, Ala.
“Because version 6 is significantly different, students will need to complete all of it. There will be no partial credit for version 5,” said Rich Rafferty.
One of the differences, he said, is that version 5 tests at the knowledge level of learning, whereas the updated version tests at the comprehension level, allowing students to “translate, interpret and extrapolate” when answering test questions.
“In addition, because of the significant differences between versions, senior NCOs scheduled to attend the in-residence Air Force Senior Noncommissioned Officer Academy after April 2014 must complete version 6, as version 5 will not be accepted as a prerequisite for attending the course,” Rafferty said.
Changes to BE WELL mean more choices for Airmen
The BE WELL program, an Air Force-wide program designed to provide Airmen and Air Force leaders with resources to optimize fitness and health, now offers more choices and increased flexibility, thanks to a revamp that went into effect July 1.
The Balanced Eating, Work Out Effectively, Living Longer, or BE WELL program, was redesigned based on input from Airmen, leaders and Air Force health promotion professionals.
The result is a customizable program structured to offer solutions in the areas of fitness, nutrition education and dietary supplement safety, according to Air Force Health Promotion, or AFHP, officials at the Air Force Medical Operations Agency, Joint Base San Antonio, Texas.
The new program offers access to a suite of options, including an online class, telephonic health coaching through Military OneSource, in-person classes on weight management with a fitness component and instructor-led workshops on cardiovascular and strength training.
Historic airpower database now available online
More than eight years in the making, a new database containing information from U.S. military and coalition aerial bombing campaigns over the last century is now publicly available online.
An historical data collection project developed and researched by Lt. Col. Jenns Robertson, the Theater History of Operations Reports database, or THOR, has evolved into a full-scale research tool available online at http://afri.au.af.mil/thor/index.asp.
The database combines digitized paper mission reports starting with World War I to create a central source of bombing history around the globe. The database can be searched by date, conflict or even aircraft-specific criteria, and organized into spreadsheets, charts or onto maps, forming a live-action sequence of events.
The THOR database is useful not only for current and future military commanders, Robertson said, but also for academic researchers, historians and government agencies involved in unexploded ordnance cleanup efforts.
“The most exciting part is that I can’t envision all the ways this can be used,” Robertson said. “This is a data trove that allows us to look over the last 70 to 100 years of bombing data, how we’ve conducted wars for the last century using airpower.”