2012 Caring for People Forum addresses issues affecting Airmen, families

by Senior Airman Lindsey A. Porter
11th Wing Public Affairs

JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md. — The 2012 Caring for People Forum concluded here Sept. 27 with a presentation of initiatives to members of the Air Force’s Community Action Information Board and Integrated Delivery System.
Since its establishment in 2009, the Caring for People Forum has evolved into a two-day seminar during which forum attendees divide into working groups at the beginning and develop initiatives to fix Air Force issues that affect Airmen and their families.

More than 140 active-duty, Guard, Reserve and civilian Air Force members participated in the forum, each contributing their unique total force perspective on the issues discussed during the working group meetings.

“These issues all relate to how the Air Force takes care of its Airmen and their families,” said Carl Buchanan, the Caring for People Forum manager. “Without the participants’ input, we can’t achieve the forum’s ultimate goal — making the Air Force better.”

During their presentations, group leaders spoke on why initiatives were chosen and how CAIB and IDS members could potentially resolve each concern. Twelve issues were briefed, with top initiatives revolving around similar subject matters.
Some of the discussed initiatives include the Air Force’s Exceptional Family Member Program, housing options for single Airmen, and immigration and naturalization assistance programs.

Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley, who spoke at the conclusion of the forum, told the participants there’s nothing more important to the Air Force than its Airmen and their families.

“By attending this forum, you have provided leadership with a glimpse into how we can enhance the lives of our most important asset,” Donley said. “By attending, you not only help them but have taken steps to actively improve the whole force.”
Air Force CAIB and IDS members will meet in October to discuss the initiatives and decide upon courses of action to address the concerns.