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Spangdahlem tests virtual out-processing initiative

SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany (AFPN) -- In an effort to improve quality of life by streamlining base processes, Spangdahlem Air Base is one of four bases worldwide to test the Air Force's new virtual out-processing initiative.

Throughout August, select families moving back to the United States will test a customized database system online. The system is designed to eliminate unnecessary steps when completing the out-processing checklist," said Capt. Ronald Ruppel, 52nd Military Personnel Flight relocations and employments chief.

The program is not designed to allow people to move to their next duty station any sooner. Base reporting dates will still apply. However, once perfected the program may reduce the amount of time it typically takes to complete out-processing paperwork.

"The intention of the program is to speed up the processes and make it easier for Air Force members and base agencies," Ruppel said. "Hopefully, it'll make the process run more smoothly."

Under current out-processing proceduress, base people must hand-carry a hardcopy checklist to various base agencies to ensure they do not owe money or have equipment to turn in before being cleared to move.

With virtual out-processing, the out-bound assignments section will load the names of people slated to depart into a database. Base agencies, such as the library, will then be able to log into the permanent change of station list and check the names of people slated to PCS for items owed, and clear members online who do not owe loaned materials.

The test phase will give commands the opportunity to try out the program, work out some of the bugs and customize it to meet base needs, said Ruppel.

For Spangdahlem, getting the program ready for testing has been the special task of a military personnel center team here. Team members have had to link the program to the various base agencies included in the test and to download names of families qualified to participate in the test into a customized database.

Technological advances, as well as a positive outlook on such advances, have paved the way for making such computer-based programs become a reality, said Mischell Navarro, Headquarters U.S. Air Forces in Europe First Look program director. But, people who don't have ".mil" computer access on the job need not feel left out.

"Those individuals who don't have access at work, can use computers set aside at base support centers, such as the library and family support center," Navarro said.

Other bases testing virtual out-processing are Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio; Nellis AFB, Nevada; and Kadena AB, Japan. The program is scheduled to come online worldwide beginning in 2003. (Courtesy of USAFE News Service)