Airman’s Handbook
A Partnership of Caring

P. O. Box 80571
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87198
TeamKirtlandHAFH@gmail.com
www.TeamKirtlandHAFH.org
(505) 503-5598  

FOREWORD

THE TEAM KIRTLAND HOME AWAY FROM HOME PROGRAM

The Home Away From Home Program is designed to provide first-term Airmen (or Enlisted Students) like you an avenue to form friendships and gather support beyond the formal work environment. The program also offers community leaders the opportunity to meet first-hand the fine young Air Force and Navy men and women of Kirtland Air Force Base—tomorrow’s leaders. Host families can provide you with a “home away from home” and a valuable support network. They volunteer their time and extend invitations to their home so you can spend time away from your Kirtland AFB dorm room. Many host families become lifetime friends with their Airman!

This informational brochure has been designed to not only encourage your participation in the program but to help you build a lasting relationship with your host family. It offers valuable insight on five major areas:

  • Section I outlines the philosophy surrounding the Home Away From Home Program
  • Section II gives general information on a variety of topics concerning your participation as a first-term Airman/Enlisted Student
  • Section III provides info on what to do if you feel uncomfortable with your appointed host family and guidance regarding sexual assault and other crimes
  • Section IV is a form to record your host family information

The Team Kirtland Home Away From Home, Inc. Board of Directors wish to express our deep appreciation to you for your service to our nation. Truly, freedom isn’t free and we want to honor the sacrifices you’re making as you serve apart from your family and friends. We hope our program helps you not only feel more comfortable in and connected to our community, but that you may also find your participation in our program to be one of life’s most rewarding experiences.  

SECTION I

THE PROGRAM AT A GLANCE

The Home Away From Home Program is designed to provide first-term Airmen with an avenue to form friendships and gather support beyond the formal work environment. Rigorous military standards can be taxing for some military members, bringing on moments of loneliness, homesickness, and doubt. Others may simply value a retreat from dormitory life. A host family can provide a home away from home during an Airman or enlisted student’s first years at Kirtland AFB. The host family can serve as a life mentor, friend, advisor, and positive role model while providing a caring environment where you can relax away from Kirtland AFB.

The Home Away From Home Program attempts to match host families with Airmen who share the same basic interests. You may request a host family by name. When two families request the same Airman, the Airman will make the decision.

The official program relationship lasts for the duration of the time that you reside in the Kirtland AFB Dormitories (dorms), but you’re free to continue outside of this program’s parameters.

HOW TO REGISTER

Visit the Home Away From Home Program website at www.TeamKirtlandHAFH.org to register for this program. Please call (505) 503-5598 or email TeamKirtlandHAFH@gmail.com with any questions you may have. Rest assured, your safety is our highest concern. The Host Family application process includes a requirement for all adult family members living at the host’s home address to undergo and pass a background check through the NM Department of Public Safety.

SECTION II

PROGRAM PARTICIPATION FOR AIRMEN

REMEMBER YOUR MILITARY VALUES

USAF Core Values
  • Integrity First
  • Service Before Self
  • Excellence in All We Do

Alcohol and Participating Airmen Alcohol may not be served to Airmen during Team Kirtland Home Away From Home events, even if you are over the age of 21.

Host Family Activities
Host families are provided a handbook that serves the same purpose as this Airmen’s Handbook, but it also provides basic insight into a first-term Airman’s experiences at Kirtland AFB. Host families are not expected to entertain you or take you out for expensive meals or events. Please appreciate the warmth and friendship your host family offers you. Your host family should welcome you as part of their family. If you don’t have a cell phone and want to call your parents or friends using your host family’s phone, please acquire a calling card first. Ultimately, the freedom to help make a meal, drink a soda, rest, watch TV, or just hang out with the family are the most precious gifts your host family can offer.

Airman-Host Family Relationships
Good behavior will likely earn you a return invitation. Courtesy counts as does gratitude. A thank-you note, email, or call after your visits will go a long way. Though you were taught in Basic Training to address people as “Sir” or “Ma’am”, relations between you and your host family need not be excessively formal; use your good judgment in this area. A good practice is to ask for the house rules on your first home visit. In case they don’t have house rules set up in advance, here’s a list of items to discuss:

  • Respect the right of everyone to have their own opinions and the right to disagree with the opinions of others.
  • Define the frequency of visits and how far in advance you should contact your Host Family if you’d like to visit their home.
  • Agree that if you are unable to visit for an extended length of time, you’ll provide a courtesy call or email to your host family from time to time to let them know how you are doing, what’s going on.
  • Host family’s policy on bringing or inviting additional Airmen to their home
  • Host family’s preference for cleaning up after yourself, including putting things back where you found them, while visiting their home.
  • Bed linen management (if you’re invited to sleep over) and free laundry options, if you’re looking to avoid using the machines in your dorm. Please don’t expect your host family to take care of this for you.
  • Host family’s policy on you arriving unexpectedly to their home.
  • “Family” responsibilities your host family would like you to assume when you visit their home; repaying the family’s kindness is admirable, but be careful about what you agree to and don’t over-commit yourself beyond your capacity to give back.
  • Activities you’d like to engage in with them, even if you need to teach them.
  • Your understanding regarding the prohibition of alcohol at host family visits and events.
  • Ask your host family how things are going during your visits.

Participation Benefits
You may invite your host family to military events as your guest, including awards and promotion ceremonies, unit picnics, and holiday parties. You may even volunteer to help your host family with tasks or projects to show your appreciation—that’s why matching based on interests is so important! While the Home Away From Home Program provides many benefits, Airmen often gain their most satisfying moments by interacting with their family and sharing the family atmosphere. And, yes, these family ties can continue for years!

Airmen and Autos
Please do NOT ask your host family to borrow their vehicle. Lending their vehicle to you is not a responsibility or a requirement. You must realize you’re asking them to assume responsibility for the risk in terms of injury to other drivers and damage to property belonging to others. Safer alternatives to borrowing are commercial transportation (including UBER), carpooling, and prior coordination of rides with your host family. A host family member may pick you up at your dorm, but if they do not have regular access to Kirtland AFB, you’ll need to coordinate a base pass. Contact the 377 ABW/SFS (Security Forces Squadron) well in advance as required by their operating instruction.

SECTION III

AIRMAN RESOURCES

WHAT TO DO IF THINGS AREN’T WORKING OUT WELL

If you have been assigned a host family with whom you do not feel comfortable, please let the Executive Director know (505-503-5598). We will attempt to match you with another host family who would work better with you. Remember that YOU are in the driver’s seat of this program. We are always here to help you!

SEXUAL ASSAULT AND OTHER CRIMES

Sexual Assault.
Sexual assault is defined as intentional sexual conduct characterized by use of force, physical threat, or abuse of authority or when the victim does not or cannot consent. Sexual assault includes rape, nonconsensual sodomy (oral or anal sex), indecent assault (unwanted, inappropriate sexual contact or fondling), or attempts to commit these acts. Sexual assault can occur without regard to gender or spousal relationship or age of victim. For allegations of sexual assault, Kirtland AFB has a Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC) and victim advocates (VA) available to ensure the respectful and dignified care of the victim. Accordingly, if an Airman victim of sexual assault confides in a host family that they were sexually assaulted, the victim should be encouraged to call the SARC immediately at (505) 846-7272 to discuss restricted (confidential) and unrestricted (non-confidential) reporting options.

SARC.
The SARC serves as the single point of contact for all Kirtland AFB personnel and acts quickly to integrate and coordinate sexual assault victim care from an initial report of sexual assault, through disposition and resolution of issues related to the victim’s health and well-being. Whether a victim comes forward through restricted or unrestricted channels, the immediate priority is to care for the victim. The SARC and VA are trained first responders who can help the victim understand the dynamics of sexual assault, and put them in touch with other helping agencies to facilitate recovery and help the victim through the investigative and legal processes.

Restricted Report of Sexual Assault.
Restricted (confidential) reporting enables Airmen who are victims to report allegations of sexual assault to the installation SARC without triggering a law enforcement investigation. This reporting option gives the victim access to medical care, counseling, chaplain services, and a victim advocate but does not initiate the investigative process. Due to the confidential nature of this reporting option, it is critical that a victim’s chain of command (Squadron Commander, First Sergeant) and law enforcement not be notified of the sexual assault as they are considered mandatory reporters. If a disclosure is made to the victim’s chain of command or law enforcement, a victim will lose confidentiality and an unrestricted report will have to be made.

Unrestricted Report of Sexual Assault.
Unrestricted (non-confidential) reporting enables all victims to report allegations of sexual assault through standard reporting channels including the victim’s chain of command, law enforcement (Security Forces Squadron and AF Office of Special Investigations), and the installation SARC. Unrestricted reporting is the preferred reporting method by the Department of Defense and the Air Force because it allows the SARC to provide the widest range of support services to the victim and enables prosecution of alleged perpetrators when investigations warrant those charges. In an unrestricted report, law enforcement concludes an investigation after which commanders and legal authorities may pursue prosecution for the alleged perpetrator. The victim making the unrestricted report has access to medical care, counseling, chaplain services and a victim advocate. At the request of the victim, the SARC and VA can work with the victim’s commander to address duty (work) or disciplinary concerns.

Independent Report.
Should information about a sexual assault be disclosed to command or law enforcement from someone other than a victim (i.e. a host family member), an investigation into the allegation will be initiated, and it will be considered an independent report. Commanders must report all sexual assaults they become aware of when it involves individuals in their supervisory chain of command. Law enforcement personnel are required to investigate all crimes they become aware of, including sexual assault.

Bottom Line.
All victims of sexual assault can have their questions answered confidentially and receive assistance by contacting the SARC at (505) 846-7272. Contacting the SARC first preserves options for the victim!

Other Crimes.
Any crime that occurs in the host family’s home, or in connection with an Airman’s visit with the host family outside of the host family’s home, must be reported to command or law enforcement.

ACKNOWLEDGED AND AGREED TO BY “AIRMAN”:

Airman Name:
Signature

SECTION IV

Assigned Host Family Information

First and Last Name(s):
Children:
Home Address:
Email Addresses:
Phone Numbers:
Birthday: