January 18, 2013

Car care because we care

by Tech. Sgt. Crystal Goff
452 AMW Airman & Family Readiness Center
car care
Tech. Sgt. Crystal Goff, March Airman & Family Readiness Center, hands Airman 1st Class Andrew Beardsley, 912th Air Refueling Squadron, a voucher under the Car Care Because We Care program, Jan. 14. The program is designed to ease the financial impact of deployments on Air Force families by providing a cash-equivalent voucher for basic maintenance service on the member’s primary vehicle. (U.S. Air Force photo / Darnell Gardner)

The 452nd Air Mobility Wing commander, Col. Samuel Mahaney states, “If you take care of your people, they will take care of the mission.” The many programs offered to March members, through the Airman & Family Readiness Center, support this quote. One in particular, the Car Care Because We Care Program, is just one example of how this command has supported its members and in return, received mission accolades that forever changed the way the Air Force Reserve is viewed by the counterparts who make up today’s Total Force.

The Car Care Because We Care Program was designed to ease the financial impact of deployments on Air Force families by providing a cash-equivalent voucher for basic maintenance service on the member’s primary vehicle. This maintenance can include an oil/filter change, lubrication services and a vehicle safety check on a modest grant basis.

If, during maintenance servicing, a larger problem is discovered that is considered an urgent safety issue, requiring additional, costly repairs or services, the sponsor or family member is encouraged to return to the A&FRC and discuss the possibility of applying for an interest-free loan through the Air Force Aid Society. The goal is to identify and repair problems before they become serious. If support from the AFAS is not opportune, the A&FRC has an abundance of information on other valuable programs that are designed to accommodate unforeseen situations that can arise for March members.

To be eligible for the Car Care program, members must:

  • Be the spouse of an active duty Air Force member (including Air Guard and AF Reserve members activated under Title 10 U.S.C.) deployed for more than 30 days — includes TDY assignments to schools, 30 days or more, but not less than four hours away from duty station  (Service is limited to one voucher per deployment with a maximum of two times per calendar year and should ONLY be performed on the member’s primary vehicle)
  • Be the spouses of an active duty Air Force member (including Air Guard and AF Reserve members activated under Title 10 U.S.C.) assigned to a remote tour
  • Be assigned to a one-year remote tour with the family remaining at any Air Force base. (Service is limited to two times per calendar year for the duration of the tour and ONLY be performed on the member’s primary vehicle)

Some bases have the capacity to include first term Airmen (E-4 and below) assigned to their first duty station in the Car Care program, as a one-time event.

The March ARB A&FRC currently has a statement of understanding with two national automotive maintenance chain facilities. For more information on this program, please contact the A&FRC at 655-5350.

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