On Jan. 30, 2020, the World Health Organization declared a public health emergency of international concern for the 2019 novel coronavirus, or COVID-19. On Jan. 31, 2020, the secretary of Health and Human Services declared a public health emergency in the United States and announced new measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The current epidemic, which originated in mainland China, has demonstrated the capacity of COVID-19 to spread globally. While supporting other government agencies’ response to the COVID-19 threat, the Department of the Air Force is responding appropriately to protect the health of the force and maintain operational readiness.
May 29, 2020
The 446th Airlift Wing will host June UTA. It will be a combination of in-person and virtual.
As previously mentioned, leaders in all units methodically reviewed all options for the June UTA. In the end, they balanced the risks with keeping you healthy, complying with installation and local guidelines related to COVID-19, and keeping you combat-ready.
Your chain of command will reach out to you with specifics regarding your unit’s June UTA schedule. During the June UTA, all customer service offices (FM, FSS, and AMDS) will provide service by appointment only.
I ask those who will attend the June UTA in-person to continue to practice social distancing, wear a mask when required, wash your hands frequently, and notify your chain of command immediately if you experience any symptoms. Masks are required for all in-person appointments with FM, FSS, and AMDS, as well as anytime members are unable to maintain six-foot physical spacing. Masks worn while in uniform must be solid in a conservative color and cover the nose and mouth. If you do not have a mask such as this, a limited supply of masks will be available for the UTA.
For those who will be participating virtually, I ask for your continued flexibility. As a result of the stay-home orders and expanded teleworking throughout the DoD, we now have several new or expanded capabilities for use, such as Desktop Anywhere, Commercial Virtual Remote (CVR) and VPN options. Your chain of command will be providing information on which systems you will be using during the June UTA.
If you have not logged into CVR yet, please do so once you have access to your us.af.mil to retrieve your user credentials. Although CVR was stood up as a short-term capability in response to COVID-19, there is discussion to continue its use beyond its planned sunset in September if demand and utilization continues. Visit https://www.cloud.mil/CVR for more information and contact Senior Master Sgt. Michael Gardner at email@example.com , firstname.lastname@example.org (CVR), if you need assistance setting up your account.
Thank you for staying resilient and flexible with us during this pandemic.
PAUL M. SKIPWORTH, Colonel, USAF
Commander, 446th Airlift Wing
April 23, 2020
On Monday, the Secretary of Defense extended the DoD Response to COVID-19 2019 Travel Restrictions through June 30th. This may affect our June UTA.
As your leadership team has done with April and May UTAs, we are currently evaluating factors and options associated with the June UTA. We are looking into all options to ensure we balance the risks with keeping you healthy and keeping you combat-ready.
We will not likely make a decision regarding the June UTA within the next few weeks, as this situation will continue to evolve.
I do not take this decision lightly. We keep you and your families foremost in our minds, which is why we are methodically looking into all options for the June UTA. We know some rely on continued and predictable UTA participation, while others are maybe a bit more flexible. We are working to create options that address the full spectrum of risk to force and risk to mission.
That said, thank you. Thank you to all the personnel who are working tirelessly in the 446th Airlift Wing. Thank you to our 446 ASTS personnel who deployed to New York City to support COVID-19 relief efforts with less than 48-hours’ notice. Thank you to the many people who worked through the weekend to help them. And thank you. Thank you for staying resilient and flexible with us during this pandemic.
I ask for your continued flexibility as this may last 12 to 24 months, as you are already seeing in the media. We do not know what the future holds. But we will get through this together.
Please continue to connect with your chain of command if you need any resources, from financial information available from 446th Airman and Family Readiness, to resiliency support from our Chaplains and Director of Psychological Health.
Last, CMSgt Neitzel and I will hold a virtual Leadership Update on Saturday, May 2 at 1000 on the Wing’s Facebook page. I invite you to join us.
Please stay connected, stay healthy, and stay ready. We are in this together.
PAUL M. SKIPWORTH, Colonel, USAF
Commander, 446th Airlift Wing
March 30, 2020
446 AW full-timers,
In order to align with Governor Inslee’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order, and in order to ensure the health, safety, and well-being of Airmen, civilian employees, their families, and the community, we are extending mission-essential and designated telework status until further notice. All existing policies related to the current mission-essential and designated telework status remain in effect.
In addition, I strongly encourage mission-essential personnel to telework to the maximum extent possible. Please work with your supervisor to adjust your work schedule as needed in order to achieve mission requirements (e.g., working during lower VPN/Desktop Anywhere network demand hours).
Again, if you run into any roadblocks, please work with your chain of command and we will do all we can within the authorities we have to remove the roadblocks and get you what you need.
Finally, please continue to protect yourself, your family, your coworkers, and the community by following the CDC’s published guidelines. You are by far our most important resource.
March 24, 2020
Team 446 AW,
The April UTA has been rescheduled to July. This will create a super UTA July 11-14. In addition, the May UTA will also be rescheduled for dates to be determined. The 446th Force Support Squadron will cancel April UTA lodging for those eligible.
An At-hoc message was sent to all members on March 24 about the rescheduled UTAs.
Thank you for your patience.
All JBLM senior leaders continue to increase protection measures on base to keep service members, families, civilian employees and others safe as the COVID-19 virus spreads.
Washington State Employment Security Department has information for workers and businesses affected by COVID-19. Information updated frequently at https://esd.wa.gov/newsroom/covid-19.
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act) requires certain employers to provide employees with paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. The Department of Labor’s (Department) Wage and Hour Division (WHD) administers and enforces the new law’s paid leave requirements. These provisions will apply from the effective date through December 31, 2020. https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-employee-paid-leave
The Small Business Administration offers multiple funding relief options to small businesses.On Friday, March 27, 2020, the President signed into law the CARES Act, which contains $376 billion in relief for American workers and small businesses. Visit - https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options - for more information.
The U.S. Department of Labor's unemployment insurance programs provide unemployment benefits to eligible workers who become unemployed through no fault of their own and meet certain other eligibility requirements. https://www.dol.gov/general/topic/unemployment-insurance
Paid Family and Medical Leave is a new benefit for Washington workers. It’s here for you when a serious health condition prevents you from working or when you need time to care for a family member, bond with a new child or spend time with a family member preparing for military service overseas. https://paidleave.wa.gov/
Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Programs are high-quality apprenticeship programs recognized as such by a Standards Recognition Entity (SRE) pursuant to the DOL’s standards. These programs provide individuals with opportunities to obtain workplace-relevant knowledge and progressively advancing skills. IRAPs include a paid-work component and an educational component and result in an industry-recognized credential. For more information, visit https://www.apprenticeship.gov/industry-recognized-apprenticeship-program.
Learn more on how to protect your finances through the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau at https://www.consumerfinance.gov/coronavirus/#mortgage. They have mortgage relief information to military-specific resources.
Are you a federal government employee? Visit https://www.benefits.gov/help/faq/Coronavirus-resources, you can find government benefits related to unemployment assistance, healthcare, and food and nutrition. You can also take our Benefit Finder to find additional benefits you may be eligible for.
There has never been a better time to sign up with MilitaryOneSource! Opening an account is free and in addition to the latest Coronavirus information, they have 24/7 non-medical counseling, 24/7 financial counseling (in case you want to access this service in the middle of the night). Visit https://www.militaryonesource.mil for available resources.
Joint Service Support, Camp Murray has a food bank, and if granted, have emergency financial assistance available. The JSS is located on Camp Murray, Bldg. 3. 253-512-3397. You can query food banks by zip code also.
Military OneSource provides free, online resources to service members and their families via the Morale, Welfare and Recreation Digital Library. You’ll find eBooks and audiobooks on virtually every topic, as well as databases and reference books that can help you learn a new skill, keep kids engaged and serve as a homework source, or prepare you to land your next job.
Today's idea focusing on student loan grace periods.
I am researching the changes put out from Ed.gov regarding the student loan interest waivers (60 days for now – beginning March 13). Within this link -https://studentaid.gov/announcements-events/coronavirus - is this question and answer:
Question: Is there any reason why I would not want to suspend my payments?
Answer: If you are pursuing Public Service Loan Forgiveness or Income-Driven Repayment (IDR) forgiveness, you may not want to go into an administrative forbearance because the time spent in an administrative forbearance does not count toward the required payments. However, if your income has changed, you may qualify for a lower monthly payment in an IDR plan—a payment that could be as low as zero dollars. A zero-dollar IDR payment counts toward the required 120 payments. If you are on an IDR plan and your income has changed significantly, you can update your information and get a new payment amount. To do so, visit StudentAid.gov/idr, click on “Apply Now,” and then start the application by clicking on the button next to “Recalculate my monthly payment.”
Highlighted portion added by PFC.
Have financial questions? Contact PFC Dana Twight at 253.242.0721 or email@example.com.
March 19, 2020
Today's idea focusing on personal finances.
- Where do you have prepaid accounts, or a balance in an account which refills automatically?
- Ideas which came to me were my ORCA (transit) card account (fills up below $30 balance), a prepaid card for spa/grooming services, that new balance I have with an airline due to cancelled domestic trip, and a credit with an insurance company.
- List automatic payments to a co-working space, gym, yoga studio, online game accounts (multiplayer, LARP, Twitch, in app purchases).
Spending Plan: My suggestion is to make a list of those items on paper, (as well as online) with a note about the location of the punch card, (actual card or virtual), the bank account the transit card is connected to and anything else related to that account or relationship. Don't forget any coffee rewards, bank card cash back balances, rewards from bank or credit union ( I can apply for a $25 card for gas or coffee from my credit union right now) etc. Even a restaurant gift card might come in handy of they are offering delivery or takeout services right now.
Cash Now = Emergency fund. Apply for unemployment for both unemployment compensation. The waiting week has been waived. Do your taxes, especially if you think you will receive a refund. Military OneSource can assist or Dana Twight can walk you through the process.
Cash Later = Employer retirement plan. Consider chatting with a personal financial counselor about any contemplated withdrawals from a retirement plan so that you understand the pluses and potential drawbacks of doing so.
Communication = Communicate with your financial institution, especially about a car payment. Many institutions will allow you to skip a payment. Do not cancel a payment without talking to them first! Here is a national list of banks offering special services at this time. https://www.bankrate.com/banking/coronavirus-list-of-banks-offering-help-to-customers-financial-hardship. When you contact them take notes of the person you spoke with, the phone and any sites for uploading documents. Voice calls recommended, unless your institution has different instructions on their website.
Credit = Personal Financial Counselor Dana Twight will be teleworking for the foreseeable future and she is available for phone and video meetings in order to pull a MyFico credit report and review it with you.
To speak with a personal financial counselor, visit Military One Source or call Dana Twight, our local personal financial counselor, at 253.242.0721 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Information on mortgage relief options is available on the Consumers Financial Protection Bureau's website to assist homeowners and renters during the pandemic.
Unmet Needs offers government funded grant up to $1500 for financial assistance - www.vfw.org / 866-789-6333 (M-F 0815-1630 CST)
USA Cares provides a government funded grant (max limit unknown). Online application required. Two-day around time for decision. Visit www.usacares.org or 800-773-0387 (M-F 0800-1700) for more information.
Operation Homefront offers critical financial assistance. Visit www.operationhomefront.org or call 877-264-3968 for more information.
The Emergency Red Cross advises contacting a local Red Cross to see if there are emergency funds available. If not, they can advise if there are any local resources available to members.
Air Force Aid Society provides assistance for Reservists on orders. Call 703-972-2650 for more information.
The PenFed Foundation has a one-time grant available up to $1,500. **NO Federal endorsement intended with this post.**
JBLM Employee Assistance Program (EAP) helps address concerns. You may reach a JBLM EAP Monday-Friday from 0800-1600 by dialing (253)732-2214 and/or an Air Force EAP Monday-Friday 24/7 by dialing (866) 580-9078.
Below are many different Professional Development and Training Opportunities you can complete to expand your career and job knowledge. If you complete Professional Development or training module, please provide a copy of the course completion certificate to your Unit Training Manager.
Air Force e-Learning
Microsoft Courses: Learn how sharpen your Microsoft products (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.). Each CBT takes an average of an hour. https://usafprod.skillport.com/skillportfe/main.action?path=browsecatalog/en-us/_fcpaths_L1VuaXRlZF9TdGF0ZXNfQWlyX0ZvcmNlX0NvbnRlbnRfQ2F0YWxvZ182bGMyL2N1c3RvbS1nMDAwMTU2ODcvTWljcm9zb2Z0T2ZmaWNlMjAxNg.._fcpathe_#browse/16479828-07e6-428b-8166-c36357978c19
General Air Force Knowledge
YouTube Podcasts and Leadership videos
Chief of Staff of the Air Force (CSAF) Professional Reading List
General Ronald Fogleman created the CSAF Professional Reading Program in 1996 to develop a common frame of reference among Air Force members -- officers, enlisted, and civilians -- to help each of us become better, more effective advocates of air and space power. Each CSAF since has enhanced and continued the Professional Reading Program. https://static.dma.mil/usaf/csafreadinglist/index.html
The Blue Grit Podcast
The Blue Grit Podcast features conversations with current and former military leaders, mental health experts, elite athletes, veterans and other individuals who have overcome significant adversity. Each podcast will highlight tactics, techniques and procedures guests used to overcome profound challenges and how those TTPs may be employed to help current Airmen deal with their struggles. As a corollary, podcast will increase awareness of psychological health and assist in de-stigmatizing mental illness, normalize Airmen’s own struggles and internalize the message of hope and recovery. All episodes are also available on i-Tunes, SoundCloud, and Spotify.
Air Force Virtual Education Center (AFVEC)
AFVEC offers a wide array of online services to empower you to actively participate in all aspects of your education to include the creation and management of online Tuition Assistance (TA). https://afvec.us.af.mil/afvec/Home.aspx
Air Force Credentialing Opportunities On-Line (COOL)
AF COOL provides a one-stop for Airmen to explore credentials recognized by the civilian community that can enhance Airmen's current performance in their AF job and civilian employment. https://afvec.us.af.mil/afvec/Public/COOL/Default.aspx
Air Force Culture and Language Center
The Air Force Culture and Language Center creates and executes language, region and cultural learning programs for Total Force Airmen, and provides the Service with the subject matter expertise required to institutionalize these efforts. https://www.airuniversity.af.edu/AFCLC/
Airmen Focused Training Videos (AFTV)
This innovative space is for Airmen to view AFTV content, collaborate with the AFTV core team and positively impact their organization by harnessing a new way to communicate. To succeed, this forum is For Airmen, By Airmen dedicated to creating videos at the point of need to provide a visual representation of a required task (either from Air Force Instruction or Technical Order). The bridge between qualification and proficiency. https://www.milsuite.mil/book/groups/aftv
The Small Business Administration and partners now offer Boots to Business workshops in a real-time virtual format. To date, they’ve provided workshops (CONUS and OCONUS) for all branches, using virtual platforms such as WebEx, GoToMeeting, Blackboard, and Zoom. If your preferred platform is not on this list, SBA will work with you on your preferred platform. Please reach out to your local Boots to Business team, or email email@example.com for assistance in scheduling and setting up virtual Boots to Business workshops to support the needs of your transitioning service members and spouses.
Military Community Support Programs (MCSP) provides the following COVID-19 update for the Military and Family Life Counseling (MFLC) Program:
Due to the COVID-19 worldwide pandemic, face-to-face support is no longer a viable option for non-medical counseling delivery in many areas.
Accordingly, MFLCs and Child and Youth Behavioral MFLCs (CYB-MFLCs) will be able to temporarily provide telehealth services to our military community. These services include telephonic and video non-medical counseling in areas where face-to-face support is restricted due to COVID-19. We are pleased to announce this temporary capability to provide continuity of care in local communities.
Thank you for continuing to providing installation and facility closure information as we work through the implementation of this new telehealth model. Our team will identify locations to implement MFLC telehealth services as we receive closure updates. Initial telehealth sessions will start by the end of the week, March 27.
The model of MFLC and CYB-MFLC telehealth and continued face-to-face support is below. Support for Adults:
Support for Children and Youth:
OSD will collaborate with MFLC contractors on the use of technology for non-medical counseling support during this temporary period of social distancing. Updates will follow throughout the week.
If there are any questions please contact your local Airman and Family Readiness Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 253-982-5330.
The Association for Death Education and Counseling is free to anyone. These "conversations" are with experts on grief and loss in the context of COVID-19. This is a series in progress and not all are posted as yet, but click on the link to listen to these conversations - www.adec.org/page/ADECinConversationCoronavirus2019.
In January 2020 the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak of a new coronavirus disease, COVID-19, to be a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. WHO stated that there is a high risk of COVID-19 spreading to other countries around the world. In March 2020, WHO made the assessment that COVID-19 can be characterized as a pandemic.
WHO and public health authorities around the world are acting to contain the COVID-19 outbreak. However, this time of crisis is generating stress throughout the population. The considerations presented in this document have been developed by the WHO Department of Mental Health and Substance Use as a series of messages that can be used in communications to support mental and psychosocial well-being in different target groups during the outbreak. https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/mental-health-considerations.pdf
No Federal endorsement intended with the below resources.
Summer Resources for middle school-age student
Summer Resources for high school-age students
The 446th AMDS is currently closed to walk-ins.
In-person visits are by appointment only.
Personnel are in the office between the hours of 0700-1600 daily.
If you have a need to contact someone at the AMDS, you can call or email. See contact information below:
Monday and Tuesday, call 253-982-0092 – TSgt Lange email@example.com
Wednesday and Thursday, call 253-982-0731 – SrA Parrish firstname.lastname@example.org
Monday and Friday, call 253-982-3518 – SSgt Adams email@example.com
Monday - Friday, call 253-982-3932 – SMSgt Yager firstname.lastname@example.org
White House Coronavirus Task Force - Information about COVID-19 from the White House Coronavirus Task Force in conjunction with CDC, HHS, and other agency stakeholders.
USAgov - Information on what the U.S. Government is doing in response to COVID-19.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - The latest public health and safety information for United States consumers and the medical and health provider community on COVID-19.
Department of Defense - Information on COVID-19 impacting military installations, families and service members.
U.S. Air Force Reserve - The latest information on COVID-19 for Reservists and their families.
AFRC Commander's Intent / COVID-19: Important Information for Reserve Citizen Airmen / Telework options and guidelines for Air Force Reserve civilians / AFRC Fitness Assessment Guidance (Updated on May 22) / Deployment Q&A / USERRA / ESGR
U.S. Air Force - The latest guidance on COVID-19 that affect all Airmen and Department of the Air Force civilians.
Local Public Health Information
Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department
King County Health Department
Washington State Health Department