Family Issues - Deployment Support

Family Deployment Support
The Airman and Family Readiness Center (A&FRC) and other base agencies, provide mobility and deployment assistance to members/families to meet pre-deployment, sustainment, and post-deployment challenges. Services and activities help prepare members/families to successfully manage separation and reintegration, increase individual and family morale and unit cohesion, and support operational readiness.
  • Weekly (group/mass) Personal Preparedness Briefings and Reunion/Reintegration for all personnel tasked for TDYs or contingencies. Pre-deployment briefing is checklist item on the member's out-processing checklist. Individual short notice appointments are available.
  • Deployment Support Groups for families are available through the member's Squadrons. Reunion/Reintegration briefing for members returning from a deployment are scheduled by their Unit Mobility Manager (UDM).
Family members who are relocating to the MacDill AFB and local area while their sponsor is deployed/TDY/or on a remote assignment are eligible to receive these, and many more services on base. All family members should check in with the A&FRC.

Key Spouse

Each unit also has a Key Spouse. Key Spouses are informal liaisons between unit spouses and leadership. They are trained volunteers that provide a vital link to families during deployments. Contact your unit or the A&FRC to get contact information for your squadron.

"Car Care Because We Care"

Voucher for a free oil change, oil filter change and safety inspection of the family vehicle. Program is designed to aid the military member in focusing on the mission by supporting his/her family. The program is paid for by the Air Force Aid Society.

"Give Parents a Break"

Provides several hours of free childcare a month at base facilities enabling the parent left behind to take a break from the children (or for the children to take a break from the parent). This is an opportunity for everyone to recharge and refocus. The program is paid for by the Air Force Aid Society.

Phone Home Program

Pre-paid phone cards are provided to members going TDY or deploying. The program is provided by generous donations from the Tampa Bay Community.

Morale Calls

Morale calls are authorized via the defense switching network (DSN). Morale calls can be originated here at home or at the deployed location. These calls are placed by calling the base operator. Some restrictions apply. Videophone calls can be made allowing for families or couples to see each other at a distance.

"Write from the Heart" or "Write Connection" Packets

These packets are given to the parent being deployed in order to facilitate letter writing and communication between families.

Children Deployment Line

A mocked deployment line is held annually. This event provides children a fun and hands on atmosphere that exposes them to some of the elements their parents experience when they deploy.


During the pre-deployment briefing members may obtain information and guidance on just about any financial issue; budgeting, reading a Leave and Earning Statement, balancing a checkbook, consumer issues such as car buying and much, much more.

Heart Link

A program designed to introduce new spouses to the military lifestyle and is offered every other month. Spouses who have been married to the active duty member for less than 5 years are strongly encouraged to attend. Spouses may register by calling 813-828-0145.

Operation Storytime

Deploying members are video recorded reading a book of his/her choice to his/her child/children. The recordings are given to the member at the end of the reading. The DVD recording kept by the family provides connectivity and continuity for the member to participation in the daily routine of bedtime with the family.