News

AF Aid Society assistance now available to 446th AW Reservists regardless of duty status

Mayor Andy Ryder, city of Lacey, Washington, and Col. Paul Skipworth, wing commander of the 446th Airlift Wing, visit with 446th Airman and Family Readiness staff to learn more about support services for Reserve Citizen Airmen during a visit on May 10, 2021 at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington.

Mayor Andy Ryder, city of Lacey, Washington, and Col. Paul Skipworth, wing commander of the 446th Airlift Wing, visit with 446th Airman and Family Readiness staff to learn more about support services for Reserve Citizen Airmen during a visit on May 10, 2021 at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. Mayor Andy Ryder is the 446th Airlift Wing Honorary Commander. The Honorary Commander Program aims to educate local civic and business leaders on the mission, priorities, and training activities of wing personnel, and to raise awareness on the unique nature of Reserve service. (U.S. Air Force photo by Rachel Herrod)

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. --

The Air Force Aid Society now provides emergency assistance to all Airmen, regardless of duty status.

“This is great news for our Reserve Citizen Airmen,” said Mandie Holovach, Air Force Reserve Command’s Airman and Family Readiness program specialist. “AFAS provides emergency assistance when unexpected financial emergencies arise, and now their no-interest loans and grants are available to Reservists in all statuses.”

Before the policy change took effect on May 6, only Reservists or Guardsmen on an active-duty status were eligible for AFAS emergency assistance.

“This was a significant decision for AFAS (in change of policy),” said Jill Pyclik, director of the 446th Airlift Wing’s Airman and Family Readiness. “For years, the Reserve member was restricted from requesting assistance from the AFAS, unless they were on orders for a minimum of 15 days. And then it wasn’t a guarantee that their request would be granted.”

Now all Reservists, regardless of status, can apply for AFAS assistance. The AFAS offers two distinct military loans – Standard Assistance and Falcon Loans – to help cover a wide variety of potential emergencies.

Standard assistance, also known as emergency assistance, is an interest-free standard loan, grant or combination of the two, designed to help Airmen during emergencies. The Falcon Loan allows members to receive emergency financial assistance in a more streamlined process. Falcon Loan meets a specific emergency need of $1000 or less and must be repaid within a year.

“I highly recommend that anyone wanting to apply for any services from AFAS, go to their website, and review the types of assistance and the criteria for their assistance before going online and applying,” Pyclik said.

AFAS is the official charity of the Air Force. It promotes the Air Force mission by helping to relieve the distress of Air Force members and their families and assist in financial aspects of their education.

Reserve Citizen Airmen living within 50 miles of an Air Force installation can apply at https://my.afas.org/memberportal/Login/Login.aspx.

If you live in the Puget Sound area, Joint Base Lewis-McChord has an AFAS officer located at the AFAS office in the Castle at 100 Colonel Joe Jackson Blvd. on McChord Field or call (253) 982-2695 on weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

If you do not live within 50 miles of an Air Force installation, but within 50 miles of another branch of service’s installation, members can apply through Navy Marine Corp Relief, Army Emergency Relief or Coast Guard Mutual assistance. If there is not a military installation within 50 miles, members can contact the American Red Cross at 1-877-272-7337 for assistance.

For more information, visit https://afas.org/.

(Some information from this article was taken from an Air Force Reserve Command news article.)