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AFMC Spouse and Family Forum links families, resources

  • Published
  • By Marisa Alia-Novobilski
  • Air Force Materiel Command

The Air Force Materiel Command held an inaugural Spouse and Family Forum, Nov. 16, linking military and civilian family members with subject matter experts and available resources across the enterprise.

“We have so many invaluable resources throughout our AFMC installations, and we really just want to help you navigate them and help you to be able to find what you need, when you need it,” said Dede Richardson, spouse of AFMC Commander, Gen. Duke Z. Richardson, and forum host. “One of our priorities is connecting families, and that’s what today is about.”

The virtual event, hosted on ZoomGov, drew more than 240 attendees who heard from subject matter experts from across the Department of the Air Force with expertise in areas including childcare, education, healthcare, spouse employment and housing. Gen. Richardson offered opening remarks and shared additional insights to questions asked by attendees during the live event.

“Families really are the backbone of the Air Force,” he said. “You retain the Airmen by retaining the family, and that really applies in the case of AFMC Civilian Airmen as well. The intent of this forum is to really open the lines of communication to all.”

Following a brief overview of the resources and support available to families, a question-and-answer session addressed topics including spouse employment resources, childcare assistance and provider availability gaps, the Military Interstate Children’s Compact, healthcare benefit options, and more. Subject matter experts provided information on where to access resources as well as insight to upcoming initiatives beneficial to families.

The forum was part of a larger AFMC Family Connections initiative which aims to address gaps in communication and resource knowledge in the larger AFMC military and civilian family community. It builds off the Five and Thrive initiative led by Sharene Brown, the spouse of Air Force Chief of Staff Charles Q. Brown, which aims to address key challenges faced by military families.

AFMC’s program expands on Five and Thrive, with an additional focus on resources and support for civilian families.

To view the recording of the AFMC Spouse and Family forum, visit

Additional AFMC Spouse and Family forum events are planned for 2023 and will be announced via the AFMC website and social media platforms.

For more information on the AFMC Family Connect initiative and to access the resources discussed during the forum, download the USAF Connect mobile application and favorite the Air Force Materiel Command page. The mobile app is available for both Apple and Android devices.