Navy Family Members Arrive at Travis Air Force Base

Last Updated : 5/10/2011 12:55:29 PM

TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (NNS) -- Hundreds of military family members were welcomed to Travis Air Force Base (AFB) following an 11 hour flight from Yokota Air Base, Japan, as part of an authorized voluntary departure of DoD dependents and Navy civilians, March 22.

"We take care of our Sailors. Our job is to make this transition as smooth and efficient as possible for families during this arduous time," said Naval Air Station (NAS) Lemoore Command Master Chief Matt Laing, who spearheaded the Navy's relief effort at Travis AFB. "These families have been under a lot of stress since the tsunami and we want to make sure they get to where they need to be as quickly as possible."

When the flight arrived at the terminal, weary family members were helped down the aircraft's stairs and assisted through the U.S. Customs and Border Protection process. Orders were written, needs assessed and final destinations determined. The importance of enrollment in the Navy Family Accountability and Assessment System (NFAAS) was also stressed.

"This is an unusual circumstance for these family members, so it's important they have all the information they need to make a successful transition," said Garland Whetzler, an exceptional family member liaison from NAS Lemoore's Fleet and Family Support Center. "NFAAS is a vital tool for staying connected and informed, especially now."

Of the 330 Navy family members who arrived, 155 were under the age of 12. For one Navy wife traveling with three kids and a dog from Yokosuka, Japan, the reception at Travis AFB was a welcome relief.

"Everyone has been real friendly getting us through this situation. All the help and the smiles have been wonderful. They've really been catering to the kids," said Angelica Hogan, who was happy to have someone read to her 3-year old at the terminal.

Hogan said she left the island with mixed emotions.

"It was a hard decision to leave," Hogan said.
The trip wasn't quite as emotional for her 12-year old daughter, Chardanae, who's looking forward to getting to her grandmother's house in Jacksonville, Fla.

"I'm just hoping grandma cooks us a Sunday dinner," she said.

The Navy will continue to support relief efforts at Travis AFB.

For more information on the voluntary authorized departure for eligible DoD family members from designated areas in Japan, read NAVADMIN 093/11 at www.npc.navy.mil.

All Sailors or family members who are in need of assistance should utilize the NFAAS support site at
www.navyfamily.navy.mil to ensure the Navy can track and assess support requirements for all parties affected.

Navy Fleet and Family Support Center has a 24-hour hotline available to provide family support information at 866-854-0638.

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