Airmen across the service can expect to receive an e-mail this week inviting them to participate in the Air Force’s 2008 Community Assessment Survey.

Mandated every two years, the study is an opportunity for Air Force community members to provide input on their perceptions and experiences in the Air Force, according to military officials.

The survey is voluntary and anonymous and will be conducted starting Tuesday through June 30.

All Air Force spouses may take the online survey at: http://spouseafcasurvey. com/ using the access code SpouseAFCA.

“It’s their chance to make their voice heard,” said Rochelle Phelps, a member of the Integrated Delivery Services team at Misawa Air Base, Japan. “The Air Force wants to make sure something is truly an issue and not just a problem for one or two people.”

Survey results are reported at the local level and can drive change at an installation, according to military officials.

For example, in the 2006 survey E-1 to E-4 airmen at Misawa reported a lack of activities for them on base. That was the impetus for the Four Chaplains Warfighter Center of Excellence, according to Phelps. The facility opened last fall, giving young airmen a meeting place away from the dorms and bars.

At Misawa, about 1,000 airmen will receive a link to the survey via e-mail, according to Phelps.

The survey is divided into four main parts: personal adjustment, family adjustment, personal and family adaptation to the Air Force, and community satisfaction.

Phelps said this year’s survey is the first time the Air Force will be able to sort answers for people who were deployed, to gauge how they may have been affected by the last few years of deployments.

Some questions address hidden risk factors in a community, such as alcohol and drug use, family maltreatment and mental health issues, Phelps said.

“A lot of people feel it’s fairly intrusive, but the thing to remember is it’s anonymous,” she said. The Air Force “wants to see how much of this stuff is really a problem versus just going on the people that get caught.”

The survey takes about 40 minutes to complete.

Air Force reservists also will be asked to participate, as will a select group of Defense Department civilians, according to an Air Force news release.

Out of 327,000 randomly selected people in 2006, 85,000 chose to take the survey, according to the release.

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Jennifer reports on the U.S. military from Kaiserslautern, Germany, where she writes about the Air Force, Army and DODEA schools. She’s had previous assignments for Stars and Stripes in Japan, reporting from Yokota and Misawa air bases. Before Stripes, she worked for daily newspapers in Wyoming and Colorado. She’s a graduate of the College of William and Mary in Virginia.

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