James Addresses Military Family Needs

Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James addressed some of the concerns of military families during a Dec. 12 Facebook Town Hall. The service plans to hire more family support coordinators to ensure that bases with more than 200 exceptional family members will each have a dedicated coordinator, said James. In addition, USAF is increasing the number of respite care hours from 12 to 40 hours per month. USAF also will host a quarterly webcast, beginning on Jan. 12, 2017, to address additional issues related to the exceptional family member program. The Air Force also has taken steps to make it easier for working military spouses to transfer licenses or credentials for careers such as nurses, teachers, and lawyers. She said USAF is working with the overall Defense Department and other federal agencies to ensure efforts are coordinated across the agencies/departments. USAF also raised the topic at a November Council of Governors meeting and the governors have agreed to put the issue on their February agenda. James also noted that the Fiscal 2017 National Defense Authorization Bill, which is awaiting President Obama’s signature, expands parental leave for both biological and adoptive parents.