Secretary of the Army the Hon. Pete Geren and Army Chief of Staff George Casey announced a new program today, Sept. 17, to provide improved support to Army Soldiers and Families: The Army Integrated Family Support Network (AIFSN).

"Our Army must continue to examine the ever-changing needs of our Families
and never cease in our effort to provide our Families a quality of life
commensurate with the quality of their selfless service," Mr. Geren said.
"In this era of persistent conflict, we can expect continuing deployments,
and to sustain this effort, we have to eliminate the old way of supporting
Families, and replace it with a system to support all Army Families with
means that respond to a globally networked society communicating in mobile
ways."

Until now, Active, Guard, and Reserve organizational structures created
overlapping lines of authority with regard to programs for Army Families.
Each component functioned independently in facing some funding challenges in
the delivery of Family programs. The new Army Integrated Family Support
Network is for both the Active and Reserve components, and is specifically
designed with "geographically dispersed" Soldiers and Families in mind.

From mobilized Soldiers, to recruiters, to Families located outside
reasonable driving distances to military facilities, the Army Integrated
Family Support Network will link all Soldiers, Families and employers to the
Family services/programs that they need. Practical examples of these
services are pre-deployment support, training for Family Readiness Groups,
TRICARE information and referral, child and youth resource referral, and ID
cards. The network links military and civilian agencies and leverages those
services in nearby communities to ensure Army services are available to
Families closest to where they live. All Army Families will have
information and resources at their fingertips.

Slightly more than $7 million has been invested in the training and
technology to "jump start" the program to create uniform Family programs
across components. This funding provides cross level staffing, training, and
advanced technology to reach our geographically dispersed Families. The
AIFSN capitalizes on the use of the internet.

Services will also target our new Soldiers and Families and those pending
deployment. The AIFSN supports Family readiness in a time of persistent
conflict by providing more consistent and uniform Family services during
extended deployments of Active, Guard, and Reserve Soldiers.

Families will know that the Army cares and they will see the tangible
evidence of that support each and every day as they link with Army
assistance and support services, according to Delores Johnson, Project
Officer for the AIFSN at the Family and MWR Command.

"It is a collective effort by the Army (Active, Guard and Reserve) and a
huge culture change that will yield great dividends for the Army, Soldiers,
civilians and Families," said Brig. Gen. Belinda Pinckney, Commanding
General, Family and MWR Command.

For more information on FMWRC, visit www.ArmyMWR.com

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For More Information Contact:
Laurie J. Pugh
Public Affairs Officer
Family and MWR Command
(703) 681-1549

Page last updated Tue September 18th, 2007 at 06:30