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November 21, 2011
By Allen Shaw, Fort Wainwright, PAO

FORT WAINWRIGHT, Alaska -- (Nov. 18, 2011) Changes in Family Readiness Support Assistance roles and responsibilities, family care plans for married Soldiers and a variety of transportation issues concerning the Fort Wainwright community were a few of the topics discussed by the working groups during the Army Family Action Plan conference at the Last Frontier Community Activity Center this week.

The working groups were a mixture of soldiers, family members and Department of the Army civilians. Army Community Service collected several issues from community members before the conference and presented them to three working groups which discussed each item, asked questions of designated subject matter experts and presented their recommendations to command leadership during an out-brief at the conclusion of the three-day conference.

Each group participated in a number of team-building exercises to help open dialogue and sessions were led by experienced facilitators to keep the work groups on-task. United States Army Alaska Commanding General, Maj. Gen. Raymond P. Palumbo, addressed the delegates at the beginning of the conference and stressed the importance of the process. He said, "If we can solve problems here, we will. If it has to go further, we can do that too."

The Fort Wainwright Army Family Action Plan issues discussed were:
• Overseas living quarters allowance for civilian employees
• Army Emergency Relief for National Guard and Reserve Soldiers
• Family Readiness Support Assistance roles and responsibilities
• OCONUS vs. overseas designation for Alaska
• Marriage reporting
• Family care plans for married Soldiers
• Student travel for deceased Soldiers' children
• Sidewalk between high walking traffic areas -- such as the Commissary, PX, Lodging and the Welcome Center
• Child care payments
• Handicapped/expecting mothers parking spaces
• Storefront Military Family Life Counselors
• Transportation to the elementary school
• Teen transportation effecting middle and high school students who reside off post
• Fees for bus to and from Ladd Elementary School and School Age Service
• Transportation to and from School-age services for all district zoned schools

Most of the AFAP issues are worked on at local levels to improve the community. Those items beyond the local level are forwarded to Headquarters, Department of the Army where delegates from across the Army determine what issues are to be addressed at the National AFAP conference. The selected issues are then presented to a board of key DoD and Army staff general officers and executive service representatives. A final determination is made as progress is reviewed and either resolved or designated unattainable.

Recommendations that were attained during the work sessions and presented to USARAK leadership will be made available at the conclusion of the conference.

The AFAP is an Army-wide initiative designed to help the Army identify and address issues that are important to maintain a good standard of living for soldiers and family members.