SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. --
Receiving orders to a new duty station can be an exciting experience with a new place and new faces. However, before an Airman can depart, there are requirements that need to be met.
Luckily Airmen are not alone in this endeavor, as the 20th Force Support Squadron outbound assignments office provides guidance throughout the process.
When individuals from Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, and various geographically-separated units receive an assignment notification, the outbound assignments office also receives a notification, said Staff Sgt. Jasmine Turner, 20th FSS career development supervisor. After that, the office sends the individual an e-mail containing everything they need to accomplish from beginning to end to out-process and receive orders.
After the initial notification, outbound assignments Airmen work with the individual to ensure they have the appropriate security, medical and dental clearances as well as location-specific documents and forms for accompanied tours so they can bring the family.
“I know with a lot of Airmen it’s hard getting their first assignment,” said Airman 1st Class Lakeia Garner, 20th FSS outbound assignments personnel specialist. “We get a lot of Airmen going to certain places overseas. It’s harder for them because it’s their first assignment, they’re nervous, some people don’t want to go because they don’t know what they’re supposed to be doing, so we try to make it easier for them if they have any questions.”
Finally, the individuals’ orders are amended as needed and pushed to the Air Force Personnel Center for review and approval.
By helping Airmen and their families get out the door on time, the outbound assignments office ensures the missions of the receiving installations continue running smoothly.
“If somebody gets an assignment and they’re not where they need to be, then we failed that (unit’s) manning,” said Garner. “They might have really needed that person to get there at that time and if they don’t have them it might be more work or harder for them.”
To improve their customer satisfaction, the office aims to transition to a letter-group system by 2018. Currently, Airmen with orders work with the three sections within outbound assignments to complete their out-processing. With the letter system, each individual will have a personnel specialist assigned to their orders who will provide them with everything they need and minimize communication errors.
“We’re converting back to letter groups to make it easier for the customer and to create a relationship with the customer,” said Garner. “That way, they’re not going to three different individuals.”
The 20th FSS outbound assignments office provides customer service for the 20th Fighter Wing, U.S. Air Forces Central Command, 9th Air Force and approximately seven geographically-separated units including Ft. Gordon, Georgia. By taking care of Airmen and their families during their transition between duty locations, the personnel specialists work to ensure the individual will be ready to accomplish their next mission.