Story by Jason Bortz on 07/19/2019PENSACOLA, Fla. The Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola Fleet and Family Support Center (FFSC) celebrated the 40 year anniversary of the establishment of FFSCs with a birthday party and open house July 19 at the organization's headquarters onboard NAS Pensacola.
During the ceremony, NAS Pensacola FFSC Director Kathleen Doherty lauded the continued efforts of the approximately 40 FFSC staff for the services they provide to service members and their families at the largest Navy Regions Southeast (CNRSE) installation.
"Our staff is committed to supporting and assisting military families," Doherty said. "At NAS Pensacola, we have families that are here for several years or several months depending if they are here for training or permanently assigned, but we have services and programs for everyone."
More than 80 FFSC facilities operate at Navy and Marine Corps bases and air stations around the world, each of which falls under the Navy's Fleet and Family Support Program (FFSP). Started in 1978 at a Family Awareness Conference in Norfolk, Virginia, FFSCs were established to address the needs of service members and their families.
Doherty, a 30-year FFSC employee, said that although the manner in which the organization provides services to eligible customers has changed as the Navy evolves, the organization's mission providing a variety of programs and information for family members of U.S. Armed Forces personnel and other eligible patrons has not changed.
"We [the NAS Pensacola FFSC] are here to provide assistance to the military family," she said. "Whether that's through taking a financial class like budgeting for a baby, attending a class on educational or licensing benefits, learning to prepare for a new career or through taking any of our classes or seminars; we are here to help however we can."
Doherty added that the NAS Pensacola FFSC currently has more than 15 core programs including area Ombudsman and Gold Star Families programs, the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) programs and the Family Advocacy Programs (FAP). In fiscal year 2018, the NAS Pensacola FFSC provided over 3,200 professional counseling sessions, over 5,300 one-on-one consultations and over 2,000 class sessions with a total attendance of over 57,000.
"Our Sailors couldn't focus on doing their job without the support the FFSC provides," said NAS Pensacola Command Master Chief Mario Rivers. "Operational readiness has to be intact to ensure Sailors can perform their missions. Of the keys to that are the Fleet and Family Support Centers and the services they provide."
Originally known as the Navy Family Service Center, the organization adopted the Fleet and Family Support Center title in 2001 in an effort to emphasize the organization's commitment to the Sailor and their family. In 2002, the FFSC logo and motto were adopted; the easily identifiable lighthouse, which provided FFSC's a uniform identity, and the line "Meeting Your Needs, At Home, At Sea."
A list of the NAS Pensacola FFSC's numerous programs is available on the NAS Pensacola FFSC Facebook page. For more information, contact the NAS Pensacola FFSC at 850-452-5990.
NAS Pensacola, referred to as the "Cradle of Naval Aviation," is designed to support operational and training missions of tenant commands including Naval Air Technical Training Center (NATTC); Naval Aviation Schools Command (NASC); the Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training (CNATT); Marine Aviation Training Support Groups (MATSG) 21 and 23; and is the headquarters for Naval Education and Training Command (NETC).