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Armed Forces Action Plan forum provides voice for JBSA members on issues

By David DeKunder | 502nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs | May 18, 2018

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas —

Joint Base San Antonio members have a chance to provide input on the quality of life issues they want addressed through an annual forum that aims to improve the well-being of military members.

The Armed Forces Action Plan forum will be Oct. 29-Nov. 1 at the JBSA-Fort Sam Houston Military & Family Readiness Center, 3060 Stanley Road, building 2797.

The forum gives military members an opportunity to provide their ideas and suggestions on critical issues concerning quality of life, readiness, welfare and morale to senior JBSA leadership for action and resolution.

Yazmine Gutierrez, JBSA Armed Forces Action Plan coordinator, said AFAP provides an avenue for the military community to voice the quality of life issues concerning and impacting them.

“This is a high-visibility forum,” Gutierrez said. “The leadership looks forward to it. They actively want to participate and hear the community’s quality of life concerns and are genuinely interested in not just hearing, but seeing these issues come to resolution.” 

Military service members, including active, Reserve and National Guard, military spouses, family members, retirees, Department of Defense civilians and survivors are eligible to participate in the AFAP forum process.

They can do so by submitting an issue form at Military & Family Readiness Centers at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston, 3060 Stanley Road, building 2797; JBSA-Lackland, 2160 Kenly Ave, building 1249; and JBSA-Randolph, 555 F Street West, building 693, at AFAP comment boxes located throughout JBSA or at http://www.jbsa.mil/Resources/Military-Family-Readiness/Armed-Forces-Action-Plan/. The form is located on the right hand side of the page under “Forms” and by clicking on the “Submit an Issue” link.

The deadline for issue submissions is Aug. 14.

Gutierrez said the issues submitted to the forum will be reviewed by four workgroups consisting of 11 to 13 delegates each selected from installation and tenant commands throughout JBSA. Workgroups include family, force, military health and teen.

“All qualifiable issues are accepted and inputted into the forum for workgroups to prioritize,” she said. “Then the workgroups will generate a complete AFAP recommendation for the top two issues from each workgroup.”

The workgroups will work with assigned subject matter experts and the Facilitators, Recorders, Transcribers and Issue, or FRTI, support team made up of JBSA staff members and community volunteers.

“There will be a lot of flow of information in the forum between delegates and subject matter experts to ensure all decisions are informed and that selected prioritized issues are well written and impactful,” Gutierrez said.

Each workgroup will reveal its recommendations to JBSA leaders in a final report on the last day of the forum, Nov. 1.

Started in 1983, the AFAP program has led to hundreds of legislative, regulatory and policy changes concerning over 600 issues that came out of forums throughout the military.

Changes that have come about through AFAP include the distribution of Montgomery GI Bill benefits to dependents, medical entitlements for college age dependents and increasing the amount of life insurance for service members from $50,000 to $400,000 and the elimination of Social Security numbers from ID cards.

At the fiscal year 2017 JBSA AFAP forum, 46 quality of life issues were reviewed and prioritized. Of those 46 issues, 32 remained at the local level for action and resolution, 10 were sent to JBSA Navy leaders and four elevated to U.S. Army Installation Management Command Headquarters.

Of the 32 issues sent to the JBSA local level, 19 have been resolved while the remaining 13 are actively being worked for resolution.

JBSA members who want to serve as a delegate at the forum can submit an application online at http://www.jbsa.mil/Resources/Military-Family-Readiness/Armed-Forces-Action-Plan/. The application is located under “Forms” and can accessed by clicking on the “Delegate Application” link.

Delegate applications are also available in person from Gutierrez at the JBSA-Fort Sam Houston Military & Family Readiness Center, 3060 Stanley Road, building 2797.

Delegates who are selected will be trained and required to serve during the entire four day AFAP forum. Teenagers who submit an application to be a delegate must have parental permission.

For more information about the AFAP forum, call 210-221-2705/2418.