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NEWS | Jan. 14, 2021

M&FRC, Key Spouse partnership helps welcome future JBSA families

By Lori A. Bultman 502nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

When military members receive orders to change duty stations, also known as a permanent change of station, their first plan of action might be to investigate the new location. A good place to find answers to the questions incoming Joint Base San Antonio families have is Military OneSource.  

Local information on topics such as schools, amenities, and home market values can be found on the Military OneSource –MilitaryINSTALLATIONS webpage, which is updated by Military and Family Readiness Center, or M&FRC, personnel at each location, according to Darlene Taylor, community readiness consultant at the Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston M&FRC.  

To access the tool, service members and their families should use their Military OneSource user ID and password. Once logged in, members can customize their own printable booklet with key resources and installation information from their new duty location.  

Joint Base San Antonio’s MilitaryINSTALLATIONS site has more than 130 articles, which are updated quarterly by the three JBSA Relocation Assistance offices, with assistance from their newest partners, the JBSA Key Spouses. 

“Spouses know what information they need to make San Antonio and JBSA their home,” Taylor said. “Our Key Spouses are our fresh set of eyes, helping us improve our articles and letting us know what information might be missing.” 

K.C. Erredge, a Key Spouse at the 963rd Cyberspace Wing, JBSA-Chapman Annex, said she is glad to assist with ensuring incoming families have all the information they need to make a smooth transition to San Antonio.  

“We kind of came upon this by accident,” she said of the Key Spouses partnering with the Relocation Assistance offices.  

There were several spouses who were trying to pull together a welcome guide for families coming to JBSA on their own when Erredge said she came across an online housing book with great information. That is when she decided to contact the Key Spouse program lead at JBSA-Lackland to request assistance.  

“I am so about sharing information,” she said. “I hate recreating the wheel.”  

The JBSA-Lackland Key Spouse work-life consultant connected Erredge with the JBSA Relocation Assistance offices, and the partnership was started.  

Personnel at the Relocation Assistance office now send previews of information and articles to Erredge and other Key Spouses. These volunteers provide feedback about the usefulness of the content and test processes to see if they are working as they should.

“We are trying to find the gaps and fix them so spouses have current and accurate information so they are not struggling when they arrive,” Erredge said. “We want to be absolutely sure families have correct information, correct processes, correct points of contact when they move.” 

“When you have gone through the transition of packing up and moving to a new place, you want to have accurate information that will not hinder the process,” she said.  

Taylor is thankful to the Key Spouses for their efforts in ensuring the information provided to newcomers is accurate and complete.  

“We are glad to have the JBSA Key Spouses working with our program to enhance the information for newly arriving service members and their families,” Taylor said. “They are able to provide us with a new perspective and ensure we are providing everything our future neighbors will need to make their relocation a smooth one.” 

The Key Spouses are also putting together a new printed welcome guide for JBSA, which should be completed in the near future. In the meantime, families planning to move to JBSA soon can still find the information they need on the MilitaryINSTALLATIONS webpage. 

Erredge said the Key Spouses can always use assistance with their efforts. Military spouses from any branch of service who would like to assist can volunteer by contacting their unit’s Key Spouse representative or the JBSA Key Spouse work-life consultants at any of the JBSA Military & Family Readiness Centers