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AFCS event is where to find answers for key deployment questions

Northwest Guardian

Published: 06:42PM June 5th, 2014

Service and family members of Joint Base Lewis-McChord might have a multitude of questions about their next deployment or training mission, but the JBLM Armed Forces Community Service will be glad to provide them answers. AFCS is hosting a quarterly Mission Resource Expo Tuesday at American Lake Conference Center on Lewis North.

There are two sessions scheduled at 1:30 p.m. and 6 p.m., each expected to run two and a half hours.

The expo was created after the start of the Rapid Expeditionary Deployment Initiative was established to drive deployment readiness and provide resources to units.

“(The expo) consolidates resources to improve assistance and prepare service members and family members for military missions,” said Pam Allen, AFCS Mobilization and Deployment manager.

Representatives from many JBLM agencies will be available under one roof, eliminating the need to schedule multiple appointments.

“We want them to get the resources and the chance to ask questions of the providers,” Allen said.

Allen said the expo provides family members the important details about TRICARE and unexpected expenses.

The American Red Cross will also be at the expo with details of how families can send emergency messages to their Soldiers either overseas or training in the states at Yakima or Fort Irwin, Calif.

“We’re also going to have the Staff Judge Advocate to discuss the different powers of attorney that somebody may need,” Allen said, “the necessity of having a will or what to do if a Soldier has a court date (during deploy- ment).”

AFCS had previously held a similar expo in 2012 when I Corps deployed hundreds of Soldiers to Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom.

While there are units scheduled to attend each of the sessions at American Lake, Allen said she also wants individual service members and family members to take advantage of the information available there.

“This is also for the Soldiers who are going on their own, who are augmenting another unit, or it could be a small detachment going,” Allen said. “Especially if you’re a first time deployed, you don’t think about these things.”

For more information about the expo or to learn about future events, call Allen at 253-967-8430. Organizers request individuals call to confirm times before attending.