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True North program helps Airmen

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Matthew Helmich, a finance technician assigned to the 509th Comptroller Squadron, in-processes Lt. Col. Rachel Freestrom, the 509th Communications Squadron incoming commander, at the Whiteman Welcome Center at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., May 7, 2018. The center, which is part of the Task Force True North resiliency program, acts as the one-stop shop for in-processing newcomers to the base. Active duty members and government civilian employees are being surveyed through May 18 about behavioral health within their units and families in an effort to enhance resources available to them. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Taylor Phifer)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Matthew Helmich, a finance technician assigned to the 509th Comptroller Squadron, in-processes Lt. Col. Rachel Freestrom, the 509th Communications Squadron incoming commander, at the Whiteman Welcome Center at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., May 7, 2018. The center, which is part of the Task Force True North resiliency program, acts as the one-stop shop for in-processing newcomers to the base. Active duty members and government civilian employees are being surveyed through May 18 about behavioral health within their units and families in an effort to enhance resources available to them. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Taylor Phifer)

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. -- Before Lt. Col. Rachel Freestrom takes command of the 509th Communications Squadron on Friday, May 11, she needs to make one crucial stop: the Welcome Center.

Freestrom needs to in-process.

“This is my first day at Whiteman,” Freestrom said earlier in the week, while at the base’s Welcome Center. “My family and I are excited to be here.”

The newly opened Whiteman Welcome Center serves as a one-stop shop for in-processing appointments, including administrative, financial and medical needs. Freestrom and other new arrivals receive a list required appointments from the center’s staff. Additionally, dependents can receive personalized medical briefings as well as help updating their Tricare information.

“It’s great to have everybody here at the Welcome Center working together to make this an easier transition,” Freestrom said.

That’s exactly what the base’s new Welcome Center is designed to do. It’s just one aspect of Task Force True North, said Sarah Lovell, manager of the program at Whiteman Air Force Base.

The TFTN program began early this year. Its goal is to promote Airmen resiliency by offering increased support within individual units. As part of the program’s ongoing efforts to assess how to best meet Airmen’s needs, the TFTN is conducting an anonymous online survey through May 18; Airmen and government civilian employees are asked to participate.

 “That’s what makes this taking this survey so important – this is an opportunity for Airmen to tell their leadership exactly what they need,” Lovell said. “We’re looking at Airmen’s needs as identified by individual Airmen.”

Whiteman AFB is one of four beta test installations for the TFTN, along with Minot AFB, North Dakota; Beale AFB, California; and Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. TFTN may be expanded Air Force-wide in the future.

The TFTN initiative includes interpersonal relations, workplace cohesiveness and mental wellness. Ultimately, units will have an embedded team of social workers and mental health providers who interact with Airmen every day to normalize the process for Airmen.

For more information on Task Force True North, contact program manager Sarah Lovell at (660) 687-3135 or sarah.lovell.2@us.af.mil.

TASK FORCE TRUE NORTH (TFTN) SURVEY
What: 15- minute, anonymous survey
Who: All active duty members and government civilian employees
Why: To collect data from Airmen to enhance recourses
Where: Surveys can be taken from any computer; a CAC login is no required
When: The survey deadline is May 18
How: http://nyu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_6VyNDjIAVHtscUl