Military & Family Support

airmen-family

With a vision to build strong, ready communities, our mission is to work collaboratively to promote self-sufficiency and enhance mission readiness, retention and adaptation to the Air Force and Navy way of life by providing Total Force members, their families, and leadership with measurable and effective service. We service all active duty, National Guard, reservists, retirees, and civilian employees whether single or married or an immediate family member, and regardless of branch of service.

New to Charleston

Your first stop upon arriving on Joint Base Charleston will be The Inns of Charleston, Building 362, which is our 24-hr arrival point for AF personnel. Once you have checked in, they will assist you in contacting your sponsor or the Commander’s Support Staff. For additional relocation services, contact the Airman & Family Readiness Center in Building 500 at (843) 963-4406 or DSN 673-4406.

Joint Base Charleston is located about 10 miles from historic Charleston. We are confident you will find the Charleston area a wonderful place to work and live. There are excellent recreational activities on base and endless opportunities for leisure. We are proud of our friendly and cooperative atmosphere on the base and with the Charleston community. Your assignment will be challenging and rewarding. The 628 ABW, together with our Reserve associate 315 AW, provide a large part of Air Mobility Command’s global reach airlift capability. We are a key element in overseas contingency operations and in worldwide humanitarian operations. The Weapons Station provides installation management and infrastructure support, houses several major training centers and serves as an ordnance station with capacity for more than 60 million pounds of conventional ordnance. At the same time, we work hard to take care of our military families through quality of life improvements.

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Airman’s Attic & Loan Locker

Airman’s Attic

The Airman’s Attic is an invaluable resource consisting of free gently used household and clothing items. All Airmen and Sailors in the rank of E-5 and below (including their immediate family members who possess a valid ID card) stationed at JB Charleston are eligible to use it.   The Airman’s Attic is located at the Air Base.

Loan Locker

The Loan Locker (all ranks) maintains and loans desirable household items to our military families in a relocation status.  These items are intended for short-term use until household items shipped during a relocation arrive.  DoD employees and their families who are in a relocation status are also eligible on a first-come, first-serve availability basis. Both the Air Base and Navy Base maintain a Loan Locker.

For more information, feel free to contact one of our centers.

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Casualty Assistance

To provide dignified and compassionate assistance to a military member, retiree and their families who have suffered the loss of a loved one.  We also assist military members make sound financial decisions pre-retirement by providing information on factors that impact retired pay.

Additionally, we assist the next of kin of military members and retirees by reporting casualties to DFAS, DVA and SSA.  If needed, we provide help understanding and filing for survivor benefits. Benefit assistance provided to active duty NOK includes insurance, gratuity, unpaid allowances, education allowance, transportation of household goods, paid basic allowance for housing, TriCare, ID card issuance, VA benefits and AF Aid. Many of the same benefits are available to the NOK of a retiree, with possible exceptions to insurance and gratuity.

Survivor’s Benefit Plan

The Survivor Benefit Plan advisor is responsible for meeting with retiring members and their spouses to provide an explanation of SBP. The briefing will include costs for the Plan as well as coverage options. The advisor will process the paperwork required to establish the member’s retired pay account with DFAS.

Casualty Assistance Links & Documents

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Crisis Response

In the event of an emergency, get the latest information regarding base closures and assistance at the Joint Base Charleston Facebook page. This does not require a Facebook account for viewing purposes. To facilitate service, always be sure to keep your AFPAAS/NFAAS information up-to-date.

AFPAAS:

https://afpaas.af.mil/cas/login?service=https%3A%2F%2Fafpaas.af.mil%2F

NFAAS: https://navyfamily.navy.mil/cas/login?service=https%3A%2F%2Fnavyfamily.navy.mil%2F

To inquire with the American Red Cross:

National American Red Cross: http://www.redcross.org/

Local American Red Cross: http://www.redcross.org/local/sc

For more information, feel free to contact one of our centers.

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Deployment Support

Our purpose is to help ease the burden/minimize stressors by providing support before, during, and after TDYs, deployments, and/or remote tours.

Pre-Deployment

All AF personnel deploying or going TDY for more than 30 days must attend a mandatory Pre-Deployment Briefing (IAW AFI 10-403, para 1.6.2.2). Pre-Deployment briefings are scheduled every Tuesday at 3pm, every Thursday at 9am, and every Friday at 2pm at the Airman & Family Readiness Center.

SPOUSES & FAMILY MEMBERS ARE  ENCOURAGED TO ATTEND!

Deployment

Being apart from loved-ones for extended periods of time can be stressful—especially for those who are left behind. Check out our flyer What’s Available to the Family Left Behindto see what’s available at home station for the family.

Post Deployment Reintegration

Believe it or not, coming home can often be more challenging than being apart. Reintegration briefings are scheduled every Tuesday at 0900 and every Thursday at 1500 at the Airman & Family Readiness Center. SPOUSES ARE HIGHLY ENCOURAGED TO ATTEND!!!

Deployment Readiness Links

The Emotional Cycles of Deployment
Preparing for Deployment
Preparing Financially for Deployment

For more information, feel free to contact one of our centers.

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Discovery Center

Our purpose is to provide a walk-in resource center that offers a wide variety of computer software programs and other resources for individually paced and self-directed learning. All resources contained within the DC help supplement the services provided by the staff. The DC offers free literature and pamphlets for the taking. In addition to the valuable resources contained within the DC is a job information area including both online and hard copy up-to-date job listings.

Other Services Offered

Computers
WiFi
Books for loan
Fax Machine
Photo Copier
Scanner

For more information, feel free to contact one of our centers.

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Employment Assistance

The A&FRC and FFSC helps military and family members explore career choices and develop employment search skills through education, information, and referral. Our goal is to give family members the competitive edge to secure employment with workshops and individual assistance through:

  • Employment Skills Building
  • Career and Self-Assessment Planning
  • Job Search Skills
  • Resume Writing
  • Federal Employment
  • Networking
  • Interviewing

Are you transitioning out of the military, or perhaps you just arrived to Charleston and your spouse is looking for employment.  Contact the Airman and Family Support Center (A&FRC) or Fleet and Family Support Center (FFSC) and we can assist.  We can connect you with a variety of local and national job resources to organizations eager to hire military members and spouses.  Additionally, we can provide you with any available information on upcoming job fairs and career expos.

Employment Opportunities

Military Spouse Preference in Employment

As a military spouse you are likely to move many times during your spouse’s military career.  Typically, this means that finding a job and building a career can be challenging. Fortunately, several programs and organizations exist to help military spouses with employment. The Military Spouse Preference program (MSP) offers employment placement preference in Department of Defense (DoD) civilian personnel positions to military spouses meeting certain criteria. This program applies to DoD vacancies only, and there are variations and exceptions that allow local hiring authorities to tailor their policies to meet their requirements.

  • For details about eligibilities, contact your local CPO or HRO.
  • For other questions, feel free to contact our centers.

Getting started:  Create an application resume. Most applications for civil service vacancies are created through a resume-building website, such as: USAJOBS, Civilian Human Resources for the Navy and Marine Corps, or Civilian Personnel Online for the Army.

For more information, feel free to contact one of our centers.

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Exceptional Family Member Program

The Exceptional Family Member Program—Family Support (EFMP-FS) is designed to provide support to military family members through a variety of medical and family support services.  EFMP-FS is the community support function provided by the Airman & Family Readiness Center that includes on-and-off base information and referral, parent education, support groups, relocation assistance, respite care, financial management and information on local schools.

Enrollment

Enrollment in the Exceptional Family Member Program is mandatory for all DoD active-duty service members whose family member has been identified with special medical and/or educational needs.

How is an exceptional family member (EFM) defined?

Joint Base Charleston defines an EFM as any dependent of an active duty member, regardless of age, who has a disability which limits that individual’s ability to function on a daily basis and requires ongoing counseling, training, education, therapy or treatment. Some examples of disabilities include:

PHYSICAL

  • Hearing/Visually Impaired
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Diabetes

SPEECH AND LANGUAGE

  • Apraxia
  • Speech Delay

SPECIAL EDUCATION

  • Developmentally Delayed
  • Specific Learning Disabilities

MENTAL HEALTH DISORDERS

  • Depression
  • Bi-Polar Disorder

Many other special needs may qualify an individual for enrollment and/or community services.

How does the the EFMP assist Families?

The Joint Base Charleston EFMP assists eligible family members by locating community support services.  Informed and concerned counselors will provide Family members with information, referrals, crisis intervention and assistance to meet their individual needs. For additional information visit www.militaryhomefront.DoD.mil.

Links and Additional Resources

For more information, feel free to contact one of our centers.

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Financial Assistance

OUR GOAL

Our goal is to improve the financial resiliency of our military personnel and their families.  We do this by providing up-to-date financial education, information, and counseling.

Education & Information

Whether in need of education for the purpose of improving financial resiliency or to correct financial shortfalls, we offer a variety of workshops.  Although not limited to the subjects below, our financial readiness team regularly offers workshops on the following topics:

  • Financial Goal Planning
  • Saving & Investing
  • Credit Reports
  • Consumer Awareness
  • Car Buying
  • Home Buying
  • Retirement Planning
  • Thrift Savings Plan
  • Moving Off Base

We also offer classes by request.  Simply give us a call and we’ll design a workshop to suit your needs.

Counseling

Our Accredited Financial Counselors® are available to provide one-on-one assistance in areas such as money & debt management, saving & investing, and retirement planning.

Eligibility for Our Services

Regardless of branch of service, all active duty and their dependents, retirees, and DoD employees are eligible to utilize our financial services.

FINANCIAL NEEDS BEYOND OUR SERVICES

Sometimes an individual may need more than information and counseling to get them through a financial tough spot.  If this is the case, the following additional resources are available.

Financial Relief

If you find yourself short of money for incidentals such as basic living expenses, car repairs, or a family emergency, you may want to consider an interest-free loan through one of the service-specific relief societies.

The Air Force Aid Society (AFAS) and Navy Marine Corps Relief Society (NMCRS) provide loans as well as other assistance to our military personnel and retirees in time of need.  The AFAS services Air Force personnel and although the NMCRS services primarily Navy and Marines, they can extend services to all branches on a case by case basis. To obtain further information about this type of assistance, call your respective Family Center (A&FRC 843-963-4406 or FFSC at 843-794-7480).

Food Pantry

Joint Base Charleston maintains a food pantry (located at the Airman & Family Readiness Center on the Air Force Base) stocked with non-perishable food items donated by the community. The pantry is intended for use by individuals who need help getting over a temporary financial hardship. All DoD employees (military and civilian) and their dependents are eligible to use the food pantry.

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Information and Referral

Trained specialists help customers assess needs and identify services both on and off base. Services include:

  • A database of community educational, life-enhancing and therapeutic resources
  • Brochures and fact sheets on local area resources
  • Referrals to appropriate military and civilian agencies

The official DoD website for reliable quality of life information is:www.militaryonesource.mil or you can contact them via toll free number at 1-800-342-9647.

For more information, feel free to contact one of our centers.

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Key Spouse & Ombudsman

Key Spouses and Ombudsmen are essential resources to help military and family members navigate the military lifestyle, including relocation, deployment and general good-to-know information. They facilitate the flow of information between commands/units and family members. Key Spouses and Ombudsmen are trained volunteers appointed by Commanders.

A&FRC/FFSC Training and Coordination

  • Trains Key Spouses & Ombudsmen
  • Coordinates Key Spouse & Ombudsmen Annual and quarterly requirements
  • Offers additional support and local information and referral

Get connected with your Key Spouse or Ombudsman or for more information

Feel free to contact one of our centers for additional information.

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Life Skills

Life is about the good, not so good, and sometimes the ugly. The “ugly” has a tendency to pass and the good times a have a tendency to return. Life Skills is not just about helping people cope. It’s about helping people live! The Fleet & Family Support Center and Airman & Family Readiness Center provide services that recognize when people have been knocked down by life, helping individuals sort through their experience(s), and then provide support, education, and referral to help them find balance. We are here to help individuals help themselves and others.

The FFSC and A&FRC provide solution oriented programs to develop knowledge and social skills to enhance self-esteem and interpersonal relations. Our services assist military members and their families regarding topics including, but not limited to the following:

  • Communication
  • Relationships
  • Parenting
  • Personal Growth & Development
  • Work/Life
  • Family Readiness
  • Heart Link
  • Military Spouse 101 Orientation

For more information, feel free to contact one of our centers.

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Military and Family Life Counseling

The MFLC Program provides short-term, non-medical counseling support for a range of issues including: relationships, crisis intervention, stress management, grief, occupational and other individual and family issues.

Local Hours 8am-6pm

The contact numbers for MFLCs are:

JBC-WS (843) 371-6045

JBC-AB (843) 637-9847

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School Liaison Officer

The School Liaison Officer serves as a conduit of school information and is the primary point of contact for public and private school matters.

Mission
To eliminate barriers and build bridges for the academic success of military children through networks and partnerships with our local and global communities.

Vision
A community in which military and civilian partners work hand-in-hand to successfully educate and advocate for the military child.

Goals
-Understand and identify barriers to quality education for military children in this area and develop solutions
-Seek to promote and educate the installation, parents, our Joint Base community and schools about the unique needs of military children
-Make connections to partners who can provide support and assistance for military families and their educational needs
-Communicate information to allow families to effectively advocate for their children in the educational setting

South Carolina has several options for educating your children including public, private, virtual and home schools. The School Liaison Officer can help you:
-Advocate for your child
-As an intermediary to resolve issues
-Understand South Carolina educational requirements
-Understand district policies
-Make PCS moves smooth when moving with school-aged children
-Discover educational resources
-Understand the Interstate Compact

The School Liaison Officer provides the following:
-Handbook for parents with school-aged children
-Scholarship information for high school students
-Information on resources for students with special needs
-Information to help educators work with military children
-Checklist for transitioning students
-Deployment resources
-Special Education

Contact South Carolina’s Office of Exceptional Children at 1-866-628-0910. The Joint Base Charleston Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) Coordinator can be reached at 843-963-4406, and can assist with the special educational needs of your children.

Helpful Sites:
http://military.tutor.com/home
http://www.hslda.org/
http://www.schoolsmatter.info/
http://www.militarystudent.org
www.mic3.net
http://www.militarychild.org
http://www.militaryinstallations.dod.mil
http://ed.sc.gov/data/report-cards/
http://www.ccsdschools.com/choice/index.php
http://ed.sc.gov/districts-schools/state-accountability/high-school-courses-and-requirements/
http://ed.sc.gov/districts-schools/state-accountability/home-schooling/

School Information Packet

For more information, feel free to contact one of our centers.

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Relocation Assistance

Planning, preparation, a sense of humor, and a positive attitude are sure-fire stress reducers when moving. The JB Charleston Relocation Assistance Program (RAP) is designed to make moving easier for military members and their immediate family. Whether this is your 1st or 5th Permanent Change of Station (PCS), you will undoubtedly have questions. We suggest attending one of our workshops to provide you with information on moving-related issues, answers to your questions, and more!   If you plan early, your move won’t be as stressful.

PREPARATION

The following is a brief overview of some of the services we provide:

Pre-Departure Briefings – These briefings provide essential information that can prevent you from making uninformed and costly decisions before your move.

Individual Planning – We also provide one-on-one consultations for anyone who needs additional assistance due to unique situations such as moving with a special needs family member or financial challenges.

Basic Household Items for Loan – Basic household goods are available to borrow short-term whether you’re PCS’ing in or out of JB Charleston. These items are intended to temporarily replace basic household items that have been shipped.   Typical items in stock include things such as pots and pans, dishes, silverware, futons, microwaves, toasters, coffee makers, vacuums, and more!

Sponsorship – If you haven’t been assigned a sponsor yet please request one from your gaining unit.

SPOUSES

Making Connections – Spouses new to JB Charleston are highly encouraged to contact their branch-specific, appointed spouse representative.  Each representative is personally selected to serve as a liaison between military family members and the commanding officer.

Spouses New to the Military – If the military lifestyle is new to you or your spouse, a PCS can add additional stress to an already new and unfamiliar way of life.  Join us for one of our branch-specific orientations tailored to familiarize new military spouses with their new way of life.

Spouse Introduction to JB Charleston –  This is an enjoyable, fast-paced introduction for spouses who are new to the base and community.  It’s also a good way to meet others.

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

Children – If you have children, contact the appropriate to research availability for care and answers to your questions.

Employment – If you or your spouse are seeking employment, contact us for further assistance.

Updating Important Information –  Remember to update your new address with Tri-Care and your branch-specific Accountability and Assessment System.

Helpful sites:

http://www.militaryonesource.mil Overall PCS and base information worldwide
http://www.militaryonesource.mil/moving Plan my move
http://www.move.mil Household goods shipping
http://www.pcsmypov.com POV shipping information
http://www.homes.mil Housing information
http://www.defensetravel.dod.mil/ Travel pay information
http://www.tricareonline.com TRICARE information
http://www.dodlodging.com Lodging information

For more information, feel free to contact one of our centers.

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Transition Assistance

Our purpose is to provide information, education, resources, and individualized assistance that will help ease the transition from military to civilian life.

Trans

Transitional Assistance Links and Documents

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Volunteering

Volunteers play a vital role in the community. They are needed in a wide variety of opportunities on base and off base. These opportunities range from administrative support, athletic coaches, mentors, pharmacy technicians, and more.

If you are seeking volunteer opportunities, contact the Volunteer Coordinator at the Airman & Family Readiness Center or Fleet & Family Support Center. We will match your skill sets to the opportunities available.

The websites below are provided as a public service by Joint Base Charleston Airman & Family Readiness Center and Fleet & Family Support Center for military members and their spouses who are interested in volunteering on JB Charleston or the local community.

The presence of commercial/external hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by the Airman & Family Readiness Center or Fleet & Family Support Center, Joint Base Charleston, SC, the United States Air Force, or the Department of Defense, of the external web site, or the information, products or services contained therein.

The National Park Service – There are many ways you can help care for your national parks, from one-time to reoccurring volunteer opportunities for youth, families, groups and individuals.

http://www.nps.gov/getinvolved/volunteer.htm

https://www.volunteer.gov/

The American Red Cross – There are many ways you can volunteer with us in your local community. Search now for opportunities to volunteer – we are always looking for people with various backgrounds, talents, and skill levels.

http://www.redcross.org/support/volunteer/opportunities#step1

Trident United Way – 211 in conjunction with the United Way Association of South Carolina (UWASC) who works to maximize the capacity and effectiveness of local United Ways and provide leadership on issues that impact the quality of life of South Carolina residents in the areas of Education – Helping Children and Youth Achieve Their Potential, Income – Promoting Financial Stability and Independence, and Health – Improving People’s Health. Through a network of collective partnerships, UWASC is committed in its efforts to provide support and enhance capacity of local United Ways; Coordinate and champion action on significant public policy issues; and improve effectiveness and coordination of health and human services in South Carolina. Our goal is to create long-lasting changes by addressing the underlying causes of these problems. Living United means being a part of the change. It takes everyone in the community working together to create a brighter future, Give, Advocate, Volunteer, LIVE UNITED.   You can go to the websites below to find your field of interest for volunteer opportunities in the local Charleston, SC area or other states you are interested in volunteering.

https://volunteer.truist.com/trident/org/opp/dir-all.html

https://volunteer.truist.com/trident/volunteer /

http://www.pointsoflight.org/volunteer/opportunities

For more information, feel free to contact one of our centers.

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Workshops & Programs

Dates/times are subject to change. Please call the Airman & Family Readiness Center, (843) 963-4406, or Fleet & Family Support Center, (843) 794-7480, to register and confirm the dates and times all workshops and events.

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