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Caring for People Forum addresses issues facing Airmen, families

ARLINGTON Va. (AFNS) -- The Air Force's 2011 Caring for People Forum concluded here July 21 with the presentation of several initiatives focusing on a range of issues affecting Airmen and their families.

More than 250 attendees from various base-level organizations met to recommend special focus areas to the Air Force Community Action Information Board and the Integrated Delivery System for evaluation and improvement.

"This is an integral way we bring up issues from the field to headquarters, and it helps us determine our agenda at the headquarters level," said Daniel Ginsberg, the assistant secretary of the Air Force for manpower and reserve affairs and CAIB/IDS co-chairman.

Ginsberg said it is vital to take care of today's Airmen and their families, and provide them a sense of community, belonging and resiliency.

The program has been revitalized in the past two years through the guidance of Air Force leaders, Ginsberg said.

The CAIB/IDS panel received briefings from individual working groups who dissected the top issues and presented practical suggestions as to how the Air Force could tackle the problems.

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz, who spoke on the final day of the forum, said the event provides an important opportunity for caring professionals to meet, network and brainstorm ways to better care for Airmen and their families.

"I trust that each and every one of you here have provided some valuable perspectives and made some professional connections to continue the progress that has been made from the past two Caring for People Forums," Schwartz said.

Maintaining this momentum is especially important, given that people remain the Air Force's most important asset, the general said.

"I will therefore continue to call upon commanders, leaders, and caring professionals, and indeed all Air Force wingmen, to further serious thought on this very important subject, and consider carefully how we can best ensure that our Airmen and their families obtain the support that they need," Schwartz said.