Ramstein: Redefining key spouse

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Alexcia Givens
  • 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

The Airman and Family Readiness Center hosted the Inaugural Key Spouse Symposium at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Feb. 23.

The A&FRC organized the symposium for all players in the key spouse program as a networking opportunity for participants. The symposium's goals were to foster the sharing of ideas, tools and best practices.

During the event, a team of key spouses, key spouse mentors, first sergeants, and unit leadership discussed and addressed the strengths and weaknesses of the program.

Groups sought viable solutions to communication, participation, and engagement issues.

The Key Spouses Program enhances the mission and personal readiness by providing an avenue for two-way communication between unit leadership and families.

A Key Spouse is a volunteer selected and appointed in writing by unit commanders to serve as an official unit representative, role model, and conduit of accurate information to unit spouses.

The Key Spouses communicate unit information and community resources to families through leadership and community connections. Key Spouses also act as an advocate for families.

The first-of-its-kind symposium was an example of the 86th Airlift Wing’s first line of effort: Develop Airmen and Care for Families. Wing leadership stressed the importance of the event, as they continue to seek new opportunities to create connection across Ramstein AB.

"Our spouses are an integral part of our Airman team," said U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Charmaine Kelley, 86th Airlift Wing command chief. "Your voice matters, and we can make things happen together."

The KSP provides a spouse with an increased awareness of the installation and community resources. In addition, key Spouses help identify and resolve issues and conflicts at the lowest level.

“We have a mission, and you're only successful at that mission if you got 110% from everybody at home and those that put on the uniform," said U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Josh Olson, 86th Airlift Wing commander.

The KSP aims to create a sense of community, raises awareness for base resources, and actively helps families through deployments with an adequate communication flow between leadership and unit families; the KSP encourages spouses to create healthy relationships with units they belong to.

The 86th Airlift Wing prioritizes the development and care of its personnel above all else, with the goal of creating Adaptive Airmen… Ready to Execute.