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NEWS | March 22, 2017

IDS: Collaborating agencies improve lives

By Staff Sgt. Natasha Stannard 633rd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

While the Joint Base Langley-Eustis Integrated Delivery System may sound like a technology based program, it’s not that all. In fact, it’s the opposite.

The IDS is comprised of helping agency representatives from the installation, who meet monthly to find solutions to issues they see or hear about from the JBLE community.

“What all of these helping agencies do is support Comprehensive Airmen Fitness,” said Carole Barton, 633rd Air Base Wing community support coordinator. “We also support commanders by going out and learning what issues they’re seeing.”

Rather than troubleshooting problems as singular agencies, the IDS works as a team to devise plans that they present to decision makers at the installation level and sometimes U.S. Air Force headquarters.

“Everything starts at this meeting and then goes to the next [level],” said Barton. “We need this collaboration so that we can work events together and hear what another agency is doing. We’re knowledgeable about each other’s various programs so that we can point people in the right direction for help.”

The collaboration includes agencies and people ranging from a key spouse, who voices concerns on behalf of Air Force families, to the sexual assault response coordinator, who assists victims of sexual assault while raising awareness for prevention.

For instance said Barton, if the chaplain is having a couples’ weekend, the family advocacy program manager will know about it from our meetings and be able to tell her customers.

“That first year that I came to the meetings, I heard people talk about their programs and got their handouts – that’s how I got to know what every agency does,” said Aillen Ford, 633rd Air Base Wing FAP manager. “I know just by being here every month who provides which service, and I can reach out and they can reach out to me.”

In addition to understanding and knowing one another’s agendas and plans, the IDS also works to find better ways of doing things within the helping agency system.

“We’re looking for any commonalities where we can combine programs,” said Barton. “We look at what we should focus on, so that we can better support our leadership. We want to be efficient and effective.”

As a result of this collaboration, the group started Leadership University, which was presented as a best practice to Barton’s Air Combat Command counterparts.

“[Leadership University], started out unique to Langley and now it’s kind of spreading throughout the command,” said Barton, of the program that briefs new installation leadership on helping agency services. “It really is a time saver because many of these helping agencies would be required to brief each one of those commanders, so we have consolidated that effort into a forum where they can all get their questions answered.”

Recently, the group also teamed up with key spouses to host a fair for deploying member’s families.

“What they’re doing here is groundbreaking and the pre-deployment fair came out of that,” said Ali Leone, 1st Maintenance Squadron key spouse. “We can say these resources are here for you, but as a key spouse, the biggest thing that we preach in our unit is building relationships.”

The fair accomplished establishing bonds, not only between spouses, but between them and the agencies that came to provide information and answer the families’ questions.

“[The families] were able to talk to them and get questions, not just get a piece of paper that says, ‘here, call this person,’” said Leone. “Instead of handing them information, we were able to actually arm them with information, and it made a big difference for our spouses. The feedback has been fantastic. They got to make personal connections and that’s improved so much for them.”

Ford added that within a week of the fair she has been able to help families with additional questions because they knew who to go to thanks to the event.

“It’s been great to be able to reach out to them and say, ‘Here’s a resource,’ or to have them come talk to us,” said Ford.

After events like this and Leadership University are over, the planning and partnerships don’t end as the group continually discusses successes and improvements as well as new ideas to further improve the quality of life for Airmen and their families.