SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii - The 25th Combat Aviation Brigade’s Family Readiness Group Center received a prestigious visit Jan. 9 on Wheeler Army Airfield (WAAF).
Mrs. Linda Odierno, spouse of the Army chief of staff (CSA), Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, visited the FRG Center located WAAF, Hawaii, for a tour of the one-stop-shop for family members and soldiers.
Key leaders of the Family Readiness Group were able to have their voices and opinions heard from the lessons learned and positive outcomes following the recent deployment to Afghanistan.
The Family Readiness Group is comprised of volunteers at all levels of a unit, from the company to the brigade. FRGs work with the spouses and family members of deployed soldiers to help pass information and keep morale high. They hold meetings regularly, update information about redeployments, answer questions, welcome new family members to the unit and provide support or helpful resources when needed.
Mrs. Beverly Tate, the 25th CABs FRG senior adviser, guided Mrs. Odierno through the facility as they discussed the different areas that are offered to family members and soldiers. The FRG Center is a one-stop-shop for help with legal advice, reaching out to a chaplain, speaking with a military life consultant and receive paperwork from a consolidated human resources shop for items such as registering a vehicle.
The center contains an Internet café room where family members and soldiers are able to use the Internet for free and the building also offers Wi-Fi for people to use on their personal devices.
Mrs. Odierno said she was impressed with how much information and resources were available in one building. She spoke about how the building had a warm and homey affect to it with the TV and movies, books and comfortable sitting through the center.
The tour ended at the “Yellow Ribbon Room” where members of the Army Community Services were able to discuss the benefits they offer to families. The room is where family members and soldiers are able to meet in a safe and comfortable location for meetings. There is a conference room that is separate from an area where children can play in a safe environment.
Mrs. Odierno commented on how well the 25th CAB was organized and the participation of all the FRSA’s across the brigade. She talked about how she hasn’t seen this much teamwork across an entire brigade before, with everyone helping each other, like a big family.
The CSA met up with Mrs. Odierno in the Yellow Ribbon Room and was able to discuss different lessons and outcomes with key leaders of the FRGs present for the tour.
One of the issues discussed was how currently the brigade has multiple FRSAs, but due to the restructure of the Army and the re-balance of the Pacific forces, there will only be one FRSA per brigade when not deployed.
Gen. Odierno talked about how the Pacific forces were re-balancing due to new strategies of the Army and a drawdown in Afghanistan.
He said that with the drawdown the 25th Infantry Division is now currently training for the Pacific Command Response Force. The PCRF mean the 25th is responsible for assisting its international partners within the Pacific area in case of events for deploying support and aid anywhere in the Pacific within 18 hours.