926th A&FRC hosts quarterly Key Spouse training

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Paige Yenke
  • 926th Wing Public Affairs

Key Spouses gathered July 16, 2019, at the 926th Wing Airman and Family Readiness Center (A&FRC) on Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., for quarterly training.

The Key Spouse program is a commander initiative that promotes partnerships with unit leadership, families, A&FRC, and other on and off base agencies. 

Four spouses attended the three-hour training – which covered a variety of topics and resources on how to prepare them for their new volunteer roles. Mrs. Eileen Collins, 926th A&FRC Director, and Staff Sgt. Julie Camacho, 926th Airman and Family Readiness NCO, hosted the quarterly event.  

“The program is a useful tool to build resiliency among families, strengthen the leadership team and offer support,” said Collins.

The eight modules in the initial training cover everything from communication between different generations, culture and gender diversity, social media/cyberspace guidelines, operational security and much more. Key spouses are required to attend quarterly initial and refresher training to learn how to best protect Reserve Citizen Airmen and their families as well as remember what is expected of them.

The program is particularly important to Air Force Reserve units that have distance obstacles to overcome.

“Families being spread out, it can be a unique challenge to connect with them,” said Collins. “We are trying different techniques, like social media to feel connected.”

The goal of the program is to alleviate challenges and frustrations that members and families may face in the service, and to allow two-way communication.

Mrs. Lisa Schultz, who has been the key spouse mentor for the 926th Wing for the past couple of years and has provided inputs to the training, sat in on her last Key Spouse training before heading out on her family’s next assignment.

“I think very highly of the [Key Spouse] program – to be of service to other family members,” said Schultz. “It can get a little lonely [in the service], and it is a great way to build community. Being a part of it has given me a greater appreciation to the military member.”

New Key Spouse, Jennifer Jorgensen, grew up benefitting from a similar program, the Navy Family Ombudsman Program, and was close family friends with Genie Hutton, a proponent of bringing the Key Spouse Program to the Air Force Reserve.

“The support she set forth really showed me what was possible,” said Jorgensen. “It’s come even further than she could have imagined.”