148th Fighter Wing earns top Family Readiness Award

Wing Family Program Coordinator, Jennifer Kuhlman, of the 148th Fighter Wing gives a teddy bear to a daughter of a deploying Securtiy Forces member before a deployment Oct. 19th, 2009 at the Air National Guard Base in Duluth, Minn.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Jason Rolfe)

Wing Family Program Coordinator, Jennifer Kuhlman, of the 148th Fighter Wing gives a teddy bear to a daughter of a deploying Securtiy Forces member before a deployment Oct. 19th, 2009 at the Air National Guard Base in Duluth, Minn. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Jason Rolfe)

DULUTH, Minn. -- The Family Readiness Group at the 148th Fighter Wing (FW), Minnesota Air National Guard has been awarded the Department of Defense Family Readiness Award for 2009. The Family Readiness Award recognizes the top unit in each of the seven reserve components - Army and Air National Guard, Army and Air Force Reserve, Navy and Marine Reserve and Coast Guard Reserve - for demonstrating outstanding family readiness while maintaining superior mission readiness.

Family Readiness is essential for Mission Readiness. A superior family program ensures Wing Members are able to deploy effectively, and their families' needs are met while on deployment. This allows deployed Wing members to accomplish their mission by alleviating additional stress back home.

The Wing Family Program Coordinator, Jennifer Kuhlman, worked with Wing leadership and the Adjutant General's office to continually develop, improve and implement relevant 148th FW Airman and Family Readiness Programs as well as Reunion and Reintegration Programs. She took a positive approach in teaming up with Family Readiness Group (FRG) Volunteers and Commander appointed Military Liaisons from each Squadron or Flight in order to identify and address issues, provide educational materials and offer outreach and support to over 1,000 148th FW members and their families. The FRG coordinated with other volunteers throughout the Wing and community to schedule events, disseminate information and train calling tree volunteers.

Wing Commander Col. Frank H. Stokes recognizes the need for a strong family support program. "The 148th Fighter Wing "Bulldogs" are very honored to be selected for this award," said Stokes. "Our mission success is critically dependent on the training & well-being of our Airmen. Whether they are preparing to leave, currently deployed or returning, our members and their families need and deserve the very best care and support. It's imperative that we do all we can to take care of them and ensure their families are supported."

Representatives of the wing will receive the award in February 2010 at the Pentagon.