Getting connected: Robins’ sponsorship training to go online

ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- The Airman and Family Readiness Center is aiming to save new sponsors time as they set out to make newcomers' arrivals at Robins less stressful.

Sponsors are the first voice newcomers hear and are often the first face they see when arriving at their new base. Sponsors provide information about the person's new base home, local real estate and school information, and may even give tips on the best places to eat and shop.

In the past, sponsors new to the task would get the low-down on how to be a good sponsor at the Airman and Family Readiness Center. But in a matter of weeks, new sponsors won't even have to leave their desks to get trained.

Renea Washington, a community readiness technician at the A&FRC, said the center is still working out the logistics of bringing the training online.

"We've been working with Staff Sgt. John Harris in the 78th Communications Squadron," she said. "He is helping us get it online. It will be a link on the Robins home page, under the Airman and family Readiness Center."

Mrs. Washington said the training, which is condensed into about 32 PowerPoint slides and lasts about 20 minutes, is expected to be online in a couple of weeks.

Daniel Wells, team lead and community readiness consultant at the A&FRC, said the move will bring the sponsorship training up to speed with other newcomer information made available on the Web.

"We have the virtual sponsorship package, and we know everyone is super busy now and it's hard for them to get away from their duty stations," he said. "So, we thought, 'Okay, we're going to come out with virtual sponsorship training and they can sit at their own computers and do the training without having to leave their offices.'"

Upon completing the virtual training, sponsors will take an online exam. Completed exams are sent to Mrs. Washington and online certificates are issued to sponsors with passing scores. Sponsors are then responsible for providing a copy of their certificates to their unit intro managers. Sponsors must take the training once a year to maintain sponsorship certification.

Mr. Wells said the initiative will save sponsors a couple of hours and will save the center valuable material costs.

"I think it will be outstanding," he said. "It will give people the opportunity to sit at their desks and receive the training and in the long run be a better sponsor and take care of our military and civilians who are coming to Robins Air Force Base."

Julie Owens, a community readiness consultant at the A&FRC, recently relocated to Robins from Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan. Ms. Owens said bringing the training online is a smart move.

"I think it will absolutely make it more convenient for people and help them help the person who's coming to their base," she said.

What to know
For more information, contact Renea Washington, a Community Readiness technician at the Airman and Family Readiness Center, at 926-1256.