NORFOLK (NNS) -- Individual augmentee (IA) Sailors continue to be an integral part of the Navy's support of the war on terrorism. With approximately 13,000 Sailors on IA orders, one of Navy leadership's top priorities is to continue supporting this mission and communicating all facets of the IA process to Sailors and their families.
U.S. Fleet Forces Command (USFF), designated as the executive agent for the IA Continuum, is streamlining a direct line of communication to the fleet and Navy families through a new product called IA Grams.
These messages from USFF will serve as a single resource for information and policy updates to commands, Sailors and their families on all IA matters. Topics and issues to be covered in future IA Grams will include deployment health assessment policy, individual readiness, 'parent command' responsibility, and family support.
"Communicating the Navy's IA policies, support programs and updates has been challenging, with many commands having different roles in the IA process," said USFF Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel Development and Allocation, Al Gonzalez. "Our primary goal is ensuring we have a clearly defined standard guidance and common operating picture, and communicating that to the fleet. IA Grams are one of the tools we'll use to accomplish that."
Under the new construct of USFF acting as the executive agent for the IA Continuum, they will now assume the duties and tasks previously performed by Task Force IA.
Task Force IA and USFF will complete the transition of responsibility at a joint conference later this month. Some key areas leaders at the conference will focus on improving for Sailors and their families include the Continuum of Care and Operational Stress Control, IA family support programs, the IA and GSA detailing processes, and post-deployment reintegration efforts.
Additionally, a forthcoming OPNAV instruction will provide the overarching policy guidance Sailors and their families need for a clear process through the IA Continuum. Until its release, all commands should continue to operate in accordance with current policy and coordinate with USFF.
"It is essential that command leaders ensure our actions supporting IAs and their families embody the top-level support that is expected for all of our Navy families," said Gonzalez. "Commands have diligently answered the bell with increasing IA requirements, and we will continue to improve our lines of communication and support to the commands, the Sailors, and Navy families."
Additional IA Continuum info is available at www.cffc.navy.mil/augmentees/index.htm.
Future IA Gram messages will be released via Navy message traffic, and also posted to the USFF Web site.
For more news from U.S. Fleet Forces Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/clf/.