Team Vance provides integrated safety net for deployers

  • Published
  • By Maj. Ronald S. Johnson
  • Chief, Mental Health Services
The most important part of being in the Air Force has always been readiness to deploy where and when needed. The increase in operational tempo over the last few years has only served to emphasize this significant role.

It is extremely important that individuals who do deploy realize there is much support to be had for themselves and their families.

The first line of support is the member's unit. Commanders, first sergeants, and supervisors all have a role in helping their Airmen who are away feel that they are missed, valued and their mission away from home is an important one.

Likewise, units watch out for the member's family in order to lessen the impact and decrease the stress associated with the separation of a loved one. Besides the unit, there are other agencies on base that can be of service to those who are deploying, have deployed, or have returned from deployment.

Many people do not know it but Vance AFB helping agencies are associated in a tight network called the Integrated Delivery System. The core IDS members are the chapel staff, Airman & Family Readiness Center, Mental Health, Family Advocacy, and Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment program.

This means that whenever an Airman or family member goes to receive services they will either get the help they need or be quickly referred to the office that will be of the most assistance to them.

If an individual goes to the chapel they will find chaplains and staff eager to help with life and spiritual problems. At the Airman & Family Readiness Center there are dedicated professionals ready to help with financial advice, non-clinical counseling for deployment or family stress, and other supports to help lessen the impact of family separation.

Mental Health, Family Advocacy, ADAPT counselors and therapist provide help with individual and couples therapy for a wide variety of issues including depression, anxiety, study skills, family problems and alcohol and drug treatment.

Another avenue of help is through Military OneSource. This service can be very helpful especially during the deployment cycle and can be reached by phone at 1-800-342-9647 or on the Web at

Military members and their families can receive information and assistance about most conceivable problems such as car repair, employment, plumbing and relocation. Also, their phone operators are trained to handle crisis situations and can arrange for counseling in the local community. 

Deployment can be a rewarding military experience but it can also add stress to Airmen and their families. Through command representatives, the Integrated Delivery System and Military OneSource, no one needs to handle that stress alone.