FSS: Ensuring a Successful PCS
By Senior Airman Christina Rios, 2nd Bomb Wing Public Affairs
/ Published May 28, 2020
BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. --
In response to COVID-19, the Department of Defense issued a stop movement order, effective March 13, 2020. In compliance with this guidance, the Air Force implemented travel restrictions for all service members, to include those with an upcoming permanent change of station.
The stop movement has had a significant impact on service members and their families. With that in mind, the 2nd Force Support Squadron has been proactive in their approach to communicate all changes in guidance to the affected members.
“The weekend of March 13th, when the stop movement was first announced, my shop came in and began the process of reaching out to all first sergeants of the Airmen that were going to be affected,” said Staff Sgt. LeWillie Neal, 2nd FSS NCO in charge of outbound assignments.
As changes to policy have been made to official Air Force travel guidance, the 2nd FSS outbound assignments team has shifted their focus to building a strong line of communication between their team members and the inbound/outbound personnel.
“We understand that every policy change that occurs causes frustration for our customers because that’s directly affecting the date that they were expecting to move,” Neal said. “We try to work with them as much as possible. Typically, by the end of the day they’re appreciative, because they know that we care.”
To remain compliant with social distancing requirements implemented by the state of Louisiana and Barksdale Air Force Base, the 2nd FSS personnel have adapted within their work space. This includes the stream-lining of processes to complete their work efficiently, while keeping safety the main priority.
“We’ve had to adapt to the standards set by the Inspector General, such as, how many Airmen we can have in an office as well as how close they can sit to each other,” said Senior Master Sgt. James Bratton, 2nd FSS superintendent. “With this in mind, we’ve had to make ways to work around the limitations that have been set before us by finding new work spaces, conducting face to face meetings virtually and teleworking when necessary.”
The 2nd FSS team has processed orders for over 500 Airmen while remaining ahead of schedule. They have accomplished this by practicing both adaptability and flexibility.
“I feel like we’re highly successful as a team because we’re using this season of challenge and change for good,” Neal said. “In the beginning, we had to learn how to work with the bare minimum which increased the workload, but we improvised by having people at home teleworking. The changes that are currently being made are improving our processes.”
The Airmen of 2nd FSS continue to find ways to innovate and adapt to their circumstances in order to ensure that all Barksdale personnel, incoming or outgoing, are set up for a successful PCS.