By Airman 1st Class Cliffton Dolezal
19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
The Airman and Family Readiness Center at Little Rock Air Force Base held an open house Feb. 1 to show the Rock that they’re still rolling. The open house was held to bring awareness to the new AFRC team over a bowl of chili with a chance to win some prizes as well.
“With the open house we are giving the Little Rock Air Force Base community a chance to meet the new team,” said Sharon Thompson, chief of the Airman Readiness center. “People are coming in and getting a chance to look at our new programs, new facilities, and enjoy some chili on a cold day and win some prizes.”
One of the major changes that team Little Rock will see is a presence from AFRC in the units which was not possible in the past due to funding and hiring freezes.
“One of the things that happened years ago is that there were consultants that were assigned to every squadron, someone that could be a resource for a commander of a squadron, but when you have three people that’s not going to happen,” said Thompson. “So now that we’re up and running we will be ready by the 1st of March to start getting back into the squadrons and offering our services wherever we can help.”
The AFRC recently put up a new sign they hope will draw more attention toward their building and get more TLR members into their programs. The team has also made it their goal to make contact with the newest members of the Air Force family, the first-term Airmen, and show them the AFRC is a great place to come to get help whether it be financially or emotionally.
“The AFRC has been helpful giving me direction and information about programs and services that I can use on base,” said Airman 1st Class Alexis Self, 19th Logistic Readiness Squadron, who has been stationed on base for less than a month. “They have so many programs that are applicable to my situation.”
“The big thing for the AFRC is to make sure that all the service members, active, guard, reserve as well as retirees, spouses and dependents are taking advantage of the programs and services we have here that can relieve some of the burdens created by deployments, extended work hours and PCSing in or out; it’s really a team effort,” said Mike Rudsill, a community readiness specialist.
The AFRC is located on the corner of Sixth Street and Cannon Drive and is open from 7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday.
Thompson said when it comes to the AFRC and the many programs offered, whether one is in a leadership role, a new airman, or a retiree, it’s not a question of if they are going to use their services, it’s a matter of when.