TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --
Family is an important piece of life’s puzzle. For one flight on Tyndall, ensuring families are taken care of is at the forefront of their minds.
The 325th Force Support Squadron’s Airman and Family Services Flight plays a key role in keeping the mission going by directly supporting the 325th Fighter Wing commander’s line of effort of taking care of Airmen and their families.
“We are, in my opinion, one of the most important flight on this base,” said Mr. Marcus Forte, 325th FSS Airman and Family Services flight chief. “The men and women who fly, the maintainers, the refuelers and anyone in direct support of getting that F-22 in the sky has to be 100 percent focused on the mission. If they are worried about [their family] they aren’t focused on the mission.”
The flight is focused around the people it services and according to Forte’s philosophy “[the members within the flight] are responsible for providing the customer the best service possible.”
Forte’s passion for his job and the services his flight provide shined as he continued to speak.
“My job is to support my members and push forward so we can provide the best service possible,” he said. “If we are not providing the best support today, then we failed the men and women of Tyndall. I lead out every staff meeting with ‘Can we do better? If so, then why aren’t we?’”
The Airman and Family Services Flight is made up of four different programs; the Child Development Center, Airman and Family Readiness Center, Youth Programs and Family Child Care.
The Child Development Center consist of the largest portion of the flights personnel. The center provides 225 child care slots for children ages 6 weeks to 5 years. The employees are trained in accordance with Air Force regulations as well as Tyndall’s own guidelines.
The Airman and Family Readiness Center’s main mission is to help members with roadblocks that may appear in life. They assist members during in-processing, deployments, retiring, separating from the military, financial help and many other support needs.
The Family Child Care program is for people on Tyndall wanting child care in an individual’s home. Currently there are 10 providers, both on and off installation. These providers are screened, trained and checked to ensure their home is a safe environment. The flight also performs no-notice inspections on these homes, ensuring the providers maintain the standards at all times.
The Youth Program, or Youth Center, offers children on Tyndall different activities such as youth sports and before and after school programs. This program gives the children on Tyndall a safe and supervised place to have fun.
Each section within the flight plays a significant role in aiding the mission of Tyndall and Forte couldn’t be more pleased with his flight.
“I have very dedicated and very passionate people in this flight,” said Forte. “Our job is not just a job, it’s an adventure, and it takes a special kind of person to provide the services we do. When you are in the service business, your job is to provide the best service, and we strive to do that every day.”