Director: Nicole Heller
166 C Circle off Independence Dr
Columbus AFB, MS 39710
HOURS OF OPERATION
Monday – Wednesday: 7:30am – 4:30pm
Thursday: 7:30am – 12:00pm
Friday: 7:30am – 4:30pm
Closed weekends, federal holidays, and AETC family days
Military and Family Readiness Center is here to promote, educate, and facilitate readiness and resiliency for the Airmen and their families at Columbus Air Force Base. Our team is the one-stop service organization where individuals can obtain reliable information and assistance on a wide range of important topics such as Relocation Assistance, Family Readiness, Volunteering, Personnel Financial Readiness, Local Employment, Exceptional Family Member Program, Casualty Services/Survivor Benefits, Voter Assistance, Referrals, and much more!
The Air Force Aid Society, (AFAS) is the official charity of the United States Air Force. It promotes the Air Force mission by providing worldwide emergency assistance to members and their families, sponsoring educational assistance programs, and offering a variety of base community enhancement programs that impact member/family welfare.
Emergency assistance usually combines an assessment of the emergency situation and an evaluation of the personal budget to arrive at a decision to make an interest free loan, a grant, or combination of both. Financial assistance is given when a qualifying individual cannot otherwise pay for specific basic needs essential to continued personal effectiveness as a military member. Funds may be given for verifiable emergency situations including food, emergency travel, vehicle repair, rent (initial rent and security deposit or eviction), and the prevention of utility disconnection.
AFAS Member Portal – Complete an application for Air Force Aid and submit online, you may call the Military and Family Readiness Center at 662-434-2790 if you have questions or need assistance with the application. Applicants will need to enroll in Zelle for direct deposit of any approved funds directly from Air Force Aid.
Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society
AFAS Community Programs
EDUCATION ASSISTANCE: The General Henry H. Arnold Education Grant program, also known as the Hap Arnold Grant, is the centerpiece of AFAS education support. The application process for the Arnold Education Grant serves as the platform for other key education support opportunities at the Society.
The Hap Arnold Grant is competitive in its need-based selection criteria and is uniquely tailored to recognize the proper weighing of family income and education costs.
Grants ranging from $500 to $2,000 are awarded to eligible Air Force and Space Force dependents each year. The specific amount awarded correlates to a student's particular level of financial need.
Bundles for Babies: Discusses finances, labor and delivery, and infant care for active duty AF and/or their spouses assigned to Columbus AFB who are pregnant or have a child up to 4 months of age. Includes a FREE $50 gift card!
Child Care for PCS: Members can receive 20 hours of childcare per child within 60 days of arrival or departure from Columbus AFB. Child care is provided by the CDC or Youth Center. Please stop by the A&FRC with your orders to get the certificate!
Give Parents A Break Program: Allows eligible parents to have a break from child care. This program pays for child care at the CDC or Youth Center 4 hours per month for 3 months.
The Columbus AFB Casualty Services Program primary goals are to provide prompt, accurate reporting, dignified and humane notification, and efficient, thorough, and compassionate assistance to the next of kin for as long as needed. The Casualty Assistance Representative (CAR) also works closely with survivors of retired members to ensure potential benefits are applied for in a timely manner. The CAR provides assistance to retired members’ families each year. Entitlements can range from Military Retired Pay, Veterans Administration benefits, Office of Servicemen’s Group Life Insurance, and Social Security.
Getting your affairs in order? Download the Retiree Supporting Documents for Retiree Entitlements Checklist. Print the checklist and keep it with your important paperwork:
Download Check List (pdf)
Casualty Assistance Links
- The Veterans Administration
- Retired Pay Online Frequently Asked Questions
- Military Records Storage
- Social Security
- Military One Source–Active Duty (Casualty information)
- Report the Death of a Retiree
- How to Request DD Form 214
- Reporting the Death of Civil Service members
Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP)
Military pay stops when a member dies. The SBP is a government program, which makes it possible for retiring members to ensure that after their death, their eligible survivors receive a portion of their military retired pay in the form of a monthly annuity. The SBP was structured so that a surviving spouse cannot outlive the annuity, and it has Cost-of-Living Adjustments (COLAs) incorporated so the annuity increases with inflation. An active duty member who has eligible dependents is automatically covered by SBP at the maximum level at no cost to the member while he/she remains on active duty. Prior to retiring, each member must decide whether to continue SBP coverage into retirement. The retired pay of those members who elect to participate is reduced by monthly premiums. The SBP is a unique plan: Government-subsidized premiums deducted from a participating member’s retired pay before taxes. The SBP is the sole means for a member to continue a portion of their military retired pay to their eligible survivors. If a member chooses (with the concurrence of their spouse) not to participate in the SBP, an annuity cannot be paid.
Employment Readiness Program
Searching for a new job? The Military & Family Readiness Center is the right place to help with your employment search! The Employment Readiness Program provides no cost consultations, programs and services to help families in the job search process. Consultants are available to guide spouses and family members on career planning, job seeking, and resume writing, as well as to help them prepare for interviews and negotiate offers. We are here to assist you if you are looking for a new career or simply a temporary job.
Apply for all Federal Government jobs, including those at Columbus Air Force Base, on USAjobs.gov.
Useful Websites in Job Search and Transition
Spouse Education and Career Opportunities (SECO) – consultants provide professional guidance to military spouses on careers, education and training, employment readiness and career connections.
The Volt Military Heroes Program is designed to provide American military service members and their families with access to exceptional employment opportunities at some of America’s top corporations. The skills, experience, determination and motivation demonstrated by American service veterans are second to none and represent a natural match for American companies wishing to maintain their competitive edge in global markets.
For veterans returning to civilian life, this program offers a seamless transition back into American businesses. Organizations seeking the most talented, disciplined and productive professional resources will not find a better source for excellence than veteran U.S. servicemen and women.
Hiring veterans offers corporations an opportunity to contribute to America’s global competitiveness and helps strengthen the economic base of our local communities.
We invite you to investigate the site and share it with people and organizations who will benefit from this new and free service.
Volt offers more than 800 essential skill evaluations in a range of disciplines listed below:
- Call Center
- Legal Process
- Software Tools
- Information Technology
Learn more at voltmilitary.jobs.net
Military Spouse Employment Partnership (MSEP) - search for jobs online that connects military spouse-friendly companies with jobs to military spouses seeking employment.
Learn more at msepjobs.militaryonesource.mil/msep/
Military Spouse Career Advancement Account (MyCAA) - provides financial assistance to eligible spouses pursuing licensure, certification or an associate degree.
Employment Workshops offered on regular basis
Resumes & Interviews – A resume is the key to obtaining interviews. The Military & Family Readiness Center can help make sure your resume advertises your skills and abilities. Then the job interview is your opportunity to market yourself and learn more about the position. We offer Resume/cover letter class every other month and set up mock interview boards on request.
Federal Employment – We offer USAJobs workshops every other month, or call and set up a one on one appointment. https://www.usajobs.gov is updated daily with excellent opportunities to join the Federal Government in such career fields as Logistics, Financial Management, and Contracting. These appropriated funded civil service positions are paid for by money appropriated by Congress.
NAF Employment – https://www.nafjobs.org/ offers great opportunities to join the Federal Government as a Non-appropriated funds (NAF) employee where you can work in the services industry for the Air Force. NAF positions can be found in the Air Force clubs, bowling centers, golf courses and many other activities and are paid from these self-generating activities.
Self-Employment – Do you want a job where you can be your own boss, set your own hours, or have the flexibility you need to raise a family and support your military career? We offer a 2 day Entrepreneur Workshop quarterly, conducted by Mississippi State University Small Business Development Center using Small Business Administration curriculum.
Local Employment Workshop - Every Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. Bring current resume, and we will sit down with you and explore to possible employment opportunities in our area. If this day and time is not convenient, we can always schedule an appointment for one on one service. You can also be added to our employment opportunity e-mail list.
Local Aviation Companies
There are a number of aviation companies in Columbus and surrounding area that can offer employment opportunities include but are not limited to:
And, don’t forget about volunteering. It is a great way to learn new skills, create important networks and gain experience while contributing to the community.
Other Job Boards
Follow the Columbus AFB EFMP on Facebook
Why Enroll in EFMP?
Enrollment in the EFMP provides special assignment consideration to a service member who has a spouse, child or dependent adult with medical conditions requiring prolonged hospitalizations, out-patient treatment, or special educational needs. EFMP helps ensure that needed services are available, on or off base, at the gaining location prior to a Permanent Change of Station (PCS)
Requirement to Enroll in EFMP
In compliance with DoDI 1315.19, federal laws protecting persons with disabilities, enrollment is mandatory for all active duty military personnel who have a family member or other person actually residing with the member having a special need.
In addition to the (EFMP-M), medical component, other agencies included on the EFMP team are the (EFMP-A), Assignments section of Personnel, and the (EFMP-FS) Military and Family Readiness Center (M&FRC). The M&FRC provides Information & Referral services and numerous resources (662-434-3323)
DAF Family Vector-The objective of the Family Vector site is to be the number one resource for our EFMP families, whether they’re seeking information about respite care, Tricare, an upcoming permanent change of station, or how to connect with local area support networks
Safety videos – Highlight how families can take precautions in the home to help prevent injuries to children with physical, developmental or cognitive disabilities. The focus of the videos includes fire and burn prevention, drowning, choking and falls prevention
Tricare Special Needs – Benefits, eligibility
Specialized Training of Military Parents (STOMP) Federally funded Parent Training and Information Center established to assist military families who have children with special education or health needs
National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) – Resources for parents, young adults, professionals, and educators
Parent Toolkit, Military Families and Students with Learning Disabilities – Guide to educate and empower parents, others to help military children who struggle in school
POSSIBILITIES: A Financial Resource Guide for EFMP Families – Free 200+ page resource. Created for parents with children under 18 years of age who have disabilities. Experts and parents worked together to make this comprehensive guide
Parent to Parent – Emphasizes emotional and informational support
Government Benefits – Location to sort through government benefits available
Disability.gov – “Connecting the disability community to information and opportunities”
Social Security Online – Information on Social Security benefits for children with disabilities
Federal Employment of Individuals with Disabilities
Air Force EFMP Respite Care – EFMP Respite Care helps Air Force families with children with special needs by providing 40 hours of respite care per month so they can leave the house, go to an appointment, or just rest, while knowing that their child is well cared for.
Give Parents a Break Program – This program is intended to help reduce stress due to the nature of military life (i.e., deployments, remote tours of duty, caring for family members with special needs, frequent moves, extended working hours).
- Families may be referred to this program by Commanders, 1st Sergeants, Chaplains, medical professionals and M&RC staff.
- Certificates are issued for a specified period of time and may be renewed.
- Child care is provided at base Child and Youth Programs
- Contact the EFMP-FS Coordinator for your certificate!
- Call 662-434-3323 or Jamey.firstname.lastname@example.org
Military OneSource provides links to information on EFMP and Forms needed for enrollment. Also, if you have a family member with special education, or medical needs, please contact EFMP-Medical at 662-434-2115 for enrollment.
EFMP & Me – is the OSN resource to connect families to helpful tools and information.
- Military One Source EFMP
- ECHO General Info The TRICARE Extended Care Health Option (ECHO)
- ECHO Fact Sheet
- ECHO Application
There exists a strong correlation between a military member’s ability to accomplish the mission successfully and the quality of his/her family experience. Because of this, Military & Family Readiness Center offers activities to promote a healthy family/work life. We also have informational books and printed material on a variety of topics regarding family/work life issues. Please call or stop by for more information.
Training is available on a variety of topics for organizational or individual needs. To schedule a class for an individual or group, please contact (662) 434-2839.
- Four Lenses
- Communication Skills
- Time Management
- Team Building
- Additional classes can be tailored for individual unit needs.
Heart Link – Hosts a quarterly Heart Link Spouse Orientation program designed to assist new spouses gain a better understanding of the Air Force culture.
Bundles for Babies – Discusses finances, labor and delivery, and infant care for active duty AF and/or their spouses assigned to Columbus AFB who are pregnant or have a child up to 4 months of age. Includes a FREE $50 gift card!
- Adoption Options – Where do I start
- Adoption Fact Sheet for Military Families
- Adoption Home Study Fact Sheet
- Adopting as a Single Parent
- Adoption Background Checks for Foster, Adoptive and Kinship Caregivers
DFAS Adoption Reimbursement Info Paper & Instructions, Dec 2019
New Military Family Learning Network Webinars!
Call for available webinars.
Resilience is the ability to respond successfully to the challenges of life, and our program provides tools to help you anticipate and manage the challenges associated with the deployment cycle. Our goal is to ensure you and your family are fully prepared for your deployment, remote or extended (30+day) TDY. We support your family so you can stay focused on the mission! With the number of deployed members here at Columbus, we are able to offer individual pre and post deployment briefings as needed. Please call (662) 434-2794/2790 for an appointment.
Some of our programs include:
Hearts Apart Social: Social event for family members whose sponsor is deployed, remote or on extended TDY 30 days or more.
Give Parents A Break Program: Allows eligible parents to have a break from child care. This program pays for child care at the CDC or Youth Center 4 hours per month for 3 months.
Huggable Uniformed Gifts (HUGs): Deployment Dolls: The M&FRC is able to make dolls for dolls for Airmen to give to children, spouses, parents, significant others or your dog! The front of the doll has a picture of the Airman and the back is made out of uniform material.
Remember what it felt like to be a new spouse to a base or to the Air Force. Here’s your chance to assist others, so they don’t travel the same bumpy road you had to. This squadron commander program trains volunteer spouses on all support services available to assist other spouses in their squadron during deployments, remotes, TDYs and overall adaptation to the military lifestyle. Contact your squadrons First Sergeant to volunteer or call the Military & Family Readiness Center, 434-2790 for more information
The Key Spouse role includes:
- Welcoming new families and spouses
- Building and fostering local support systems for unit families through outreach, education and events.
- Maintains consistent contact with spouses and families and listens to concerns.
- Assists families in finding and utilizing available base and community resources.
- Serves as a communication and support link between the Commander, First Sergeant and unit families.
The Role of the Key Spouse is NOT:
- To gossip— Key Spouses are bound by Privacy Act guidelines
- To counsel— Key Spouses are points of referral. They can provide you with information but are not trained counselors.
- To judge— Key Spouses understand the challenges of military life. They will listen to your concerns and refer you to helping agencies, if necessary.
Military families face unique challenges. They may struggle with issues such as deployment-related stress, reintegration and pressures of managing parenting and finances while a loved one is deployed.
To support military families facing these or additional challenges, the Military and Family Life Counseling Program:
- Provides short-term, non-medical counseling services to service members and their families at no cost
- Provides psycho-education to help military service members and their families understand the impact of deployments, family reunions following deployments and other stresses related to the military life
- Augments existing military support services
- Offers flexible service delivery
- Can provide services on or off of military installations
- Can provide services to individuals, couples, families and groups
With the exception of child abuse, domestic abuse and duty to warn situations services are private and confidential.
ABOUT MILITARY AND FAMILY LIFE COUNSELORS
- Masters or Doctorate-level licensed counselors
- Work with families, individuals, couples and children
- Work with existing military and family support programs to complement services provided
NON-MEDICAL COUNSELING SERVICES
- Anger management
- Relationship issues
- Conflict resolution
- Decision-making skills
- Deployment stress
- Coping skills
- Relocation adjustment
Personal Financial Counseling Services
Personal Financial Counseling (PFC) can help you and your family: manage finances, resolve financial problems and reach long-term goals such as getting an education, buying a home and planning for retirement.
Support and Counseling Services
- Confidential financial consultations for individuals and families
- Referrals to military and community resources
- Support for family members during deployment
- Help with credit management and budgeting
- Help navigating benefits
Training and Workshops Offered
- Money Management
- Budgeting and Developing Spending Plans
- Debt and Credit Card Management
- Consumer Rights and Obligations (dealing with creditors)
- Financial Planning: Reaching Life Goals
- Financial Readiness and Economic Security
- Financial Readiness for Deployment
- Transitioning to Civilian Life
- Home Buying
- Understanding Mortgages
- Preventing Foreclosure
- Kids and Money: Raising Financially Savvy Kids
- Military Benefits, Pay and Entitlements – TSP/BRS
- Savings and Investments
- Retirement Planning
- Estate Planning
- Develop a WRITTEN budget to plan your spending, saving, investing, and debt management.
- Pay yourself first! Make it a habit to save for an emergency. Try to save 10% in an emergency savings account, but if this is too much, save as much as you can.
- Contribute to a retirement account such as the Thrift Savings Plan as early as possible in your career.
- Review your credit reports for FREE at annualcreditreport.com to be sure the information is accurate.
- Shopping for a vehicle? You should also shop for financing to get the best rate available. Keep inquiries within a 14-day window to minimize impact on your credit score.
- Maintain good financial records such as a bank account register even if you never write a check. Debit transactions don’t always post immediately and don’t forget automatic withdrawals such as bill payments.
Helpful Financial Websites
(No federal endorsement intended for non-government sites)
The Relocation Assistance Program (RAP) at Columbus AFB assists you with information and education to ease the personal and family stressors military families experience with a permanent change of station (PCS).
New Student Pilots
Click here for information to assist you with your transition to the 14th Student Squadron.
Wing Newcomers Orientation
Newcomers Orientation is from 0800-1600. It begins at the Columbus Club Event Center and, after lunch on your own, concludes with a base bus tour. Please locate and download the Columbus Air Force Base App from the App Store prior to attending. To register, please contact your unit CSS, or for more information, please call the M&FRC Relocation Manager at (662) 434-2701/2790.
Online Pre-Arrival Orientation
Smooth Move Workshop
This workshop is highly recommended before you begin your PCS outprocessing. Start your move off right with expert information from Tri-Care, Housing, Military Pay, TMO, Medical Records and M&FRC.
An electronic version of sponsorship training called eSponsorship Application & Training (eSAT) is the required training course to become a sponsor. Click here for the Military OneSource’s MilLife Learning Training Course Catalog.
Contact M&FRC for all the Sponsorship Resources and Information
Separating or Retiring Soon?
The Columbus Military & Family Readiness Center can help you navigate through this process! The Transition Program is the Department of Defense’s program designed to ensure that Service members are better prepared to transition from military to civilian life. We will guide you through the entire process of meeting all your Career Readiness Standards to ensure a smooth transition and successful career following separation from the Military.
- Legislation states Initial Counseling must be the first Transition activity
- Individualized Initial Counseling Must be completed NLT 365 days prior to separation
- Assigned a Counseling Pathway Tier to each separating SM
- Pre-separation counseling NLT 365 (vs 90) days prior to separation
Please call (662) 434-2631 or (662) 434-2790 to register.
Looking for an interesting and rewarding experience….Become a VOLUNTEER! Volunteers provide invaluable support to the base and community, donating thousands of hours each month. Opportunities range from Columbus AFB Medical Center to the Airman’s Attic. Volunteers enjoy personal satisfaction that comes from helping others and contributing to the mission. Additionally, there is an annual recognition and presentation of the Air Force Volunteer Excellence Award (VEA) and the Base Volunteer of the Quarter and Year Award.
Contact M&FRC for a Volunteer Application
United Way of Lowndes County, MS
American Red Cross