|Paper||Hill Air Force Base Newspapers|
|Rights||No Copyright - United States (NoC-US)|
|Publisher||Digitized by J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah|
|Paper||Hill Air Force Base Newspapers|
HILLTOP TIMES Hitlt. in 8 TIMES Decembers 2008 Paving the way for a new travel reimbursement process Hill spouses to get grants for portable career training BY LEE ANNE HENSLEY Hilltop Times staff T he Hill Air Force Base Airman and Family Readiness Center and spouses of active-duty military personnel are waiting on pins and needles for the latest opportunity for military spouses to advance their careers. In January, the AFRC will receive funding for Career Advancement Accounts, which cover the costs of training and education for military spouses to earn a degree or credential in in-demand, portable fields. "After our announcement went out to the spouses about this program a few months ago, we've had more than 250 inquiries from interested spouses," said Lorraine Perkins, lead Career Resource Counselor at AFRC. CAA is co-sponsored by the Department of Labor and Department of Defense whose funds can be used to pay up to $3,000 in fees for one year, and may be renewed for one additional year for a maximum amount of up to $6,000 granted per spouse. The grants cover the costs for tuition, fees, books, equipment, and credentialing and licensing fees acquired over the two-year period. Applicable career fields include health care, education, financial services, information technology, skilled trades, human resources, business and hospital management, and homeland security. One additional, career that the AFRC would like to add to the health care field is massage therapy. "We've had a very big interest from spouses Armed Forces Print News W ASHINGTON — Air Force finance officials are implementing ways to improve customer service to Airmen with process changes, said the director of the Secretary of the Air Force Financial Management Process Improvement and Integrations Office. "This has been a rocky road for some Air Force travelers," said Josephine L. Davis, SAF/FMPI. "Fortunately, process improvement and service delivery initiatives will improve travel reimbursement services." Air Force finance officials recently completed two separate Air Force Smart Operations 21 reviews to improve the travel and permanent change-ofstation voucher processes. Senior Air Force and Reserve command financial management leaders attended a travel voucher process AFSO 21 event at Robins Air Force Base, Ga., to conduct an end-to-end review of the travel voucher process. "The active-duty, Guard and Reserve team identified and validated problems in the current processes and agreed on a future state process," Davis said. Some short-term solutions are now in place via a recent Defense Travel System software upgrade which improves government charge card usage. This same upgrade implemented a pilot who want to become a massage therapist, as it is a portable career," Perkins said. Tb be eligible for CAA, the active-duty military member must have at least one year remaining on their assignment at Hill AFB, be currently deployed or on an unaccompanied military tour from Hill AFB, and the member's spouse must have a high school diploma or GED and must not be receiving training assistance funded by the U.S. Department of Labor. The AFRC has not received finalized information from DoD yet, but they will announce the final details as soon as the center receives them. In the meantime, Perkins notes that AFRC still provides many helpful resources to spouses wanting to improve their quality of Life. "We've requested a grant from the Air Force Aid Society for spouse training in three career fields — forklift operator, office management and computer training — to offer spouses short-term skill building through Davis Applied Technology College," Perkins said. "We are still waiting on confirmation of that grant. However, the Airman and Family Readiness Center has a high success rate of matching spouses with local employment through our classes on interview skills, job search classes that are offered twice a month, and our resume writing classes." Information about available counseling and programs for spouses is available at the AFRC, Building 150, or by telephone at 777-4681. More information about CAA can be found online at www.caa.milspouse.org. PEDIATRIC DENTISTRY, P.C. Dale Hibbert, Pediatrics Jennifer Brown, Family Leland Pack, Orthodontist j£ Accepts Military Insurance & Latest technology in painless dentistry & Free exam for children under 2 yrs jfi Arcade games & more Open Mon through Sat 774-0770 2112 N. HILLFIELD RD. #1 • LAYTON FOR ALL OF YOUR ROLL OFFDUMPSTER NEEDS Can Size: 15 cu. yd.$315 20 cu. yd.$345 30 cu. yd. $395 .Looking forward to doing business with you! I PHONE FAX Varicose Veins.. 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Davis said the Robins AFSO 21 review also looked into improving the submission of PCS travel vouchers, services for deployed members, and ensuring Airmen aren't over or underpaid A subsequent AFSO 21 review took place in September . at Ellsworth AFB, S.D., to review and improve these processes. Solutions in this area are also under way and will be implemented with DTS software upgrades scheduled to occur in 15-18 months. Some Airmen may remember that in the past an Airman would visit the base accounting and finance office and work with a travel pay clerk to reconcile a travel voucher, according to Davis. The Airman would leave the office with a cash reimbursement and a copy of his or her filed travel voucher. "The process was functional and effective from a traveler's perspective, but it was costly and labor intensive for the Air Force," Davis said. "The cost and manpower requirements for such a process were not an issue in the past. However, times have changed due to federally mandated manpower reductions." Two additional initiatives are currently under way to enhance financial service delivery to Airmen: the Financial Service Delivery Model and Defense Integrated Military Human Resources System (www. dimhrs.mil/). "The primary objective of FSDM is to improve service delivery to Airmen through enhanced utilization of Web-based self service applications," Davis said. "Click, Call, Walk" is the FSDM slogan. With FSDM, Airmen will have: • 24-hour, seven-day-aweek access to Web-based service for financial transactions • A toll-free number to a contact center when additional assistance is needed • The ability to deal . face-to-face with a base financial service technician for those unusual financial transactions. "Ultimately, FSDM will result in enhanced customer service and substantial return on investment for the Air Force," Davis said. Another initiative is DIMHRS, a Department of Defense program currently under development. It provides the Armed Forces with an integrated, multicomponent, personnel and pay system that improves delivery of military personnel and pay services, according to Davis. This system provides each service member with a single, comprehensive record that features self-service capabilities to empower them to update portions of their personal information, and initiate personnel and pay actions. Finance officials listen to customer comments, Davis said. "Air Force leadership takes them seriously, and continues to take steps to resolve members' concerns," Davis said.