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New FRG coordinator: Mission first, family always

  • Published
  • By Capt. Gabe Johnson
  • 162nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs
The new Family Readiness Group coordinator for the 162nd Fighter Wing has a head start on her new job having marched a mile in a Guardsman's boots.

Barb Gavre began her tenure as the wing's family assistance manager April 28. Her appointment marks her second career with the unit. She served 23 years in the 162nd as a supply technician, which gives her unique insight into the needs of Guard members and their families.

"I was a first sergeant for four of those years," said Gavre, "and I think the experience I gained in that job will help me serve our families. I'm no stranger to helping people; whether it's with minor financial problems, or major personal crisis, I feel I'm ready to help."

She's not only a former wing member, but she's also a military spouse and a mother. She's married to Maj. Ken Gavre, Maintenance Squadron commander. Together they have four children ranging from 12 to 22 years old.

"It's so exciting to be in this unique position that allows me to draw from my professional experience as a military member as well my personal experience as a family member," she said. "I've always felt that the people in this unit were one big family, and it's an honor to carry on the wing's tradition of taking care of its people like family."

According to Gavre, the Family Readiness Group's first priority is to take care of deployed members and their families to see that their pre-deployment, deployment and post-deployment needs are met.

"Families experiencing a deployment should know that they can call on family readiness for anything... landscaping, a leaky sink, child care, car trouble, Tricare issues... anything."

Other goals for the group include financial management assistance, newcomers' briefings, managing volunteers, managing assistance resources, organizing family events, and working with other wing organizations like the Jimmy Jet Foundation and the 162nd Fighter Wing Minuteman Committee.

Gavre serves as a conduit for people who need help finding valuable military resources and has local connections for volunteers who offer their skills to assist with a variety of problems.

She's also the wing's spokesperson for all family readiness issues and an active participant in the Air Force and Air National Guard family readiness network; a community of professionals dedicated to sharing information and programs to enhance readiness.

"We say 'mission first, family always,' and it's true because when our families and our personal lives are in order we can effectively set ourselves to accomplishing the great mission set before us," said Gavre.

The Family Readiness Group office is located at the Air National Guard Base at Tucson International Airport in Building 1, room 108. Barb Gavre can be reached by telephone at (520) 295-6566.