PEOPLE FIRST April 22, 2016


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 improves mental health care, treatment

People in distress may hesitate to reach out for help due to perceived stigma associated with seeking mental health treatment. This perception and the belief that care may be hard to get may prevent some people who need care from getting it. TRICARE has worked hard to eliminate potential barriers to mental health care by removing day limits for certain mental health services.

When a mental health condition requires more intensive treatment than outpatient care, partial or full-time hospitalization may be required. The inpatient psychiatric hospitalization benefit was limited to 30 days per benefit year for adults and 45 days for children or adolescents. You could request a waiver for additional treatment days if needed.

However, inpatient mental health hospital services, regardless of length or quantity, may be covered as long as the care is considered medically or psychologically necessary and appropriate. Likewise, the psychiatric partial hospitalization benefit previously had a 60 day per benefit year limitation that could be extended with a waiver. This 60-day limitation has been removed to ensure that beneficiaries receive care for as long as needed.

In addition, the 150-day limit on residential treatment care for beneficiaries under 21 years old has been removed. Although medical determination is still required, there is no day limit.

If you or someone you know requires mental health care, get help. If you believe emergency care is required, you can get emergency psychiatric care without pre-authorization.

Operation Homefront recognizes AF Military Child of the Year

Air Force Vice Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein presented the Operation Homefront 2016 Air Force Military Child of the Year award to Madeleine Morlino, 17, during a ceremony April 14, in Pentagon City, Virginia.

Madeleine, of Moorestown, New Jersey, is the daughter of retired Master Sgt. Leonard and Kerry Morlino. She was selected as the Air Force military child recipient along with five other children from each of the services including the National Guard. The award honors resiliency, strength of character in the face of the challenges associated with military life, and selfless service to others within their families and communities.

Operation Homefront received more than 500 nominations for this year’s competition.

“As we celebrate our honorees tonight, we do so knowing that there are many, many more military kids making good things happen in their homes and in their communities,” said retired Brig. Gen. John I. Pray Jr., the president and CEO of Operation Homefront. “Tonight’s honorees follow 28 other military child of the year award winners since 2009, each one a shining example of promise and hope.”

Madeleine said she was motivated by the challenges her family faced as her father transitioned from military to civilian life and wanted to ease the transition for other service members. She conceived, organized and led a job expo for veterans in her hometown and successfully attracted national and local businesses poised to offer veterans meaningful employment.

Before presenting Madeline with her trophy, Goldfein shared why she was receiving this award.

Nearly 650 family members reach U.S. from Turkey within 74 hours

Minutes after an ordered departure of Defense Department family members and civilians assigned to locations in Turkey, mobility Airmen sprang into action around the world, preparing to execute missions that would ensure a safe and speedy airlift for them and their pets.

The combined mission effort was accomplished within 74 hours following the initial order on March 29. Around 650 passengers and 70 pets were moved using three contracted commercial aircraft and six C-17 Globemaster III aircraft assigned to Air Mobility Command, according to data compiled by the 618th Air Operations Center at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois.

The mandatory departure came at the recommendation of Gen. Philip Breedlove, the commander of U.S. European Command. In a press conference held March 29, Peter Cook, the Pentagon press secretary, said the decision to move dependents was made “out of an abundance of caution.”

The DOD spokesman also emphasized that the decision was not triggered by a specific threat, but rather the broader scope of security threats playing out in the region.

“This decision allows for the deliberate safe return of family members from these areas due to continued security concerns in the region,” he said. “It in no way signifies a permanent decision to end accompanied tours at these facilities and is specifically intended to mitigate the risk to DOD elements and personnel, including family.”

After the passenger movement was validated by U.S. Transportation Command, Special Assignment Airlift Mission and Global Channel planners at the 618th AOC worked together to phase the required aircraft through normal en route bases and move the families to their desired home destinations.

Welsh speaks at the Chaplain Corps Summit

More than 200 chaplains and chaplain assistants gathered for the U.S. Air Force Chaplain Corps Summit in Alexandria, Virginia, April 12 through 14.

The summit marked the first time in four years that Chaplain Corps Airmen have gathered to exchange ideas, develop solutions and plan the future for the corps. Chaplain (Maj. Gen.) Dondi Costin, the Air Force chief of chaplains, simply called it a family reunion.

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh III kicked off the event addressing the chaplains and sharing his gratitude for their service.

The summit was the brainchild of Costin and Chaplain (Brig. Gen.) Steven Schaick, the deputy chief of chaplains. They came up with the idea in one of their after-hours discussions on how to improve communications in the corps.

Besides talks from Welsh, Costin, and Schaik, Chief Master Sgt. Dale McGavran, the career field manager for the Chaplain Corps, spoke about the inspiration he took from history and from other chaplain assistants. He quoted Napoleon Bonaparte’s definition of a leader, “a dealer in hope,” and a chaplain assistant’s summation of her job: “We’re the ninjas of networking.”

Other Air Force leaders who addressed the summit for the next two days included Air Force Vice Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein; Maj. Gen. Garrett Herancak, the commander of the Air Force Recruiting Service; Chaplain (Col.) Gary Califf, the command chaplain for the Air Force Reserve Command; Chaplain (Col.) Bill Yates, the director of the Air National Guard Chaplain Corps; and Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Cody, who told the crowd, “You go anywhere we send an Airman.”