Shaping future for Airmen: Community Assessment Survey provides venue for improvement Published June 8, 2006 By Tech. Sgt. Melissa Phillips 436th Airlift Wing Public Affairs DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del. -- The Integrated Delivery System Working Group is sponsoring the 2006 Community Assessment Survey of servicemembers and their spouses. "The survey is the best way for Air Force community members to make their opinions and needs known, said Marti Hosterman, 436th Services Squadron Family Member Programs Chief and Dover Air Force Base's IDS coordinator. Air Force community members at Air Force bases worldwide were randomly selected to participate in the study. The 320,000-person survey is Web-based and takes about 25 - 30 minutes to complete. It is also somewhat personalized, so it will only ask questions pertinent to the individual taking the survey. For example, if an Airman checks "single with no dependents," the survey isn't going to ask him about local schools, said Maj. David Linkh, Air Force Family Advocacy Research director. Approximately 1,000 active duty and 1,000 spouses were chosen from each installation, and a notification letter that included a link to the Web-based survey was sent to the work e-mail address of each active-duty member selected to participate. Spouses were sent a letter in the mail with the Web link. "We strongly urge everyone to take the survey, because the results of the survey will be used by base leadership and the Air Force to target resources where they are most needed, and enhance the well-being of the community," said Mrs. Hosterman. The survey is anonymous so people can participate without fear of retribution about issues that affect Airmen every day. "If you don't fill out the survey, you are actually hurting yourself," said Mrs. Hosterman. "The survey is the best way for you to help shape your future, because through the study we listen to community members and then provide services to help them meet their needs and the needs of their families." Survey responses can directly influence family services and related support activities at local bases and throughout the Air Force. In fact, results from previous Air Force Community Assessments have impacted the policies and programs that support families at every level of the Air Force, to include: expanding financial counseling programs to members and their families, development of a user-friendly support network for Air Force single parents and the set up of marriage support seminars for junior enlisted members and their spouses. The cut-off to participate in the survey is June 23. The survey results should be compiled by September 1 and will give a snapshot at each individual base, as well as across the Air Force as a whole, Major Linkh said. "Everyone benefits from the Community Assessment Survey," he said. "There are lots of success stories that have come from this. One base increased employment, another added more playgrounds - all because of the results of the survey." If you have any questions regarding the 2006 Community Assessment Survey, contact Mrs. Hosterman at 677-3718. Editor's note: Some information obtained from the Air Force Print News Service.