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Department of the Air Force to consider military family support measures in future basing decisions

WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- The Air Force approved criteria Feb. 24 to assess states’ policies for accepting professional, career licenses and a community’s public education system support of military children as part of its strategic basing process.

The addition of these criteria aims to ensure locations under consideration have sufficient support for the unique needs of military families who relocate frequently.

"The communities where service members live and work impact readiness, retention and the satisfaction of families,” said Secretary of the Air Force Barbara M. Barrett. “Future basing decisions made with a consistent framework will ensure optimal conditions for service members and their families."

Military members report that local public education aspects and support for their children and the ability of their spouses to sustain careers move after move influence their decisions to remain on active duty.

To address these concerns, the Air Force collaborated with policy professionals and subject matter experts to develop two types of analytic frameworks. The public education framework will be used to evaluate public school districts’ educational aspects and ability to support transferring military children in prekindergarten through 12th grade near Air Force installations.

The licensure portability framework will be used to assess state laws, governors’ executive orders, state Supreme Court or bar association rules and the ability for an area to accommodate licenses earned from other locations.

While mission requirements remain the top priority for where a mission is based, the Air Force has developed a process to include these support of military family considerations. The methodology for these criteria will be used for future basing decisions as the Air Force continues to collaborate with policy professionals and subject matter experts.

“We know improving schools and changing licensure regulations take time, but efforts to meet the unique needs of military families are vital,” Barrett said. “States that have improved services for military families should be commended and emulated.”

The criteria will be formally incorporated into the basing process in the spring.

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