New personnel accountability system helps leaders, families during crises
By Maj. Beth Kelley Horine, Air Force Personnel Center Public Affairs
/ Published March 11, 2009
RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- When a natural disaster or large-scale crisis strikes, the Air Force wants to ensure the safety of all Airmen, and their family members. To account for its personnel, the Air Force will implement a new program April 1, the Air Force Personnel Accountability and Assessment System, to improve accountability management, reporting and case management.
"AFPAAS provides valuable information to all levels of the Air Force chain of command, allowing commanders to make strategic decisions which facilitate a return to stability after a crisis," said Maj. Gen. K.C. McClain, AFPC commander.
Designed to synchronize Air Force reporting with the Department of Defense's accountability system, AFPAAS meets combatant commander and DoD requirements for personnel tracking by ensuring accountability of all Air Force personnel--to include active duty Airmen and family members, Guardsmen, Reservists, civilians (NAF and DAF), and contractors overseas.
"The new AFPAAS web-based program is a big advancement from our current system--delivering reliable, rapid, real-time, large-scale personnel accountability data directly to commanders and readiness managers," said General McClain
Specifically, AFPAAS allows commanders and units to account, assess, manage and monitor the recovery and reconstitution process for personnel and their families affected and/or scattered by a wide-spread catastrophic event, every step of the way. AFPAAS provides valuable accountability at all levels of the Air Force chain of command, enhancing the commanders' ability to make strategic decisions.
"It also decreases labor costs and manual steps from our current system," added Brian Angell, Air Force Personnel Center chief of Personnel Readiness Cell operations.
"Although the current accountability process works, is uses numerous manual steps which take quite a bit of time to compile, and it results in exception reporting--meaning it only identifies unaccounted individuals, Mr. Angell said. "In contrast, AFPAAS automatically captures a real-time snapshot of the status of all personnel as the accountability process is in action streamlining the process and deleting the additional touch points previously required."
For the Airman, Guard member, reservist, civilian or family member who must report their status, the web-based AFPAAS program provides for ease and flexibility, world-wide, during a disaster or crisis.
After April 1, Air Force personnel and family members simply log into https://afpaas.af.mil or call 1-800-435-9941 to report individual and family member status if affected by a disaster or crisis.
"In addition to helping commanders and senior leadership track accountability of their unit personnel, AFPAAS is a simple system for all users," said Mr. Angell. "It allows for input from any internet connection or telephone world-wide, increasing the access and ease of use for all personnel and family members."
Although Web security allows for log-in from any computer, only approved readiness personnel and commanders with CAC access can view personal identification information.
"Individual information is completely protected," Mr. Angell emphasized.
In addition to increasing reliability of members' status, AFPAAS speeds up the assistance process to help affected family members. AFPAAS provides commanders a tool to identify and verify assistance and aid eligibility or entitlements for affected personnel and their families prior to or immediately following a disaster.
"The system definitely decreases the time it takes for leadership to determine who is eligible for Air Force aid or what family needs federal assistance after a large-scale disaster or event," said Mr. Angell.
The Air Force will test AFPAAS during an exercise in March 16 - 20 before the system goes live on April 1. AFPAAS web based training and implementation users will be scheduled through major command personnel directorates. For more information about AFPAAS, visit your base Airmen and Family Readiness Center or contact your MAJCOM A1.