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Navy Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC)
NECC highlights family readiness program, welcomes new director
by Petty Officer 3rd Class Shanice McNulty
18 October 2023
VIRGNIA BEACH, Virginia --
Navy Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC) recently welcomed a new family readiness program director to manage family service and support policies and resources throughout the Navy Expeditionary Combat Force.
Megan Stewart took the helm as program director this past summer.
“My job is basically making sure that NECC is complaint with all policies instructions and that everybody is inspection ready. I also make sure that our families are being taken care of and that programs that support our families are effective,” said Stewart.
One of her future goals for this program is to become more integrated with Fleet and see where any inconsistencies may lie.
“We want to go out routinely to visit our subordinate commands to ensure we have face-to-face conversations with them, getting on the level on the force and really seeing what is happening instead of being at headquarters and trying to work issues from so far away,” said Stewart.
Stewart explained that she believes a Sailor's best support is their family, but she emphasized that family members also need support as well.
“My job is to be there to support the support network of the Force and make sure the home side is taken care of while their Sailor is on deployment. I also help them find resources if they need anything while they’re getting ready for deployment.”
Commander, Navy Installation Command, who oversees the Navy's family readiness program, defines the Family Readiness Groups (FRGs) as an integral part of a support service network that bundles key support services such as ombudsmen, Fleet and Family Support Centers (FFSCs), chaplains, school liaison officers and child development centers at the command level. When families of deployed service members know their resources, they can have fun, draw on the strength of new friends, enhance their coping skills, and reduce deployment anxiety.
NECC Force Chaplain, Capt. Tavis Long explained the differences between Fleet-based FRGs and those within the expeditionary side of the Navy.
“We have FRG groups on ships, and we also have ombudsmen. For us within the Navy Expeditionary Combat Force, we are pulling all of that in under the family readiness program director. On a ship usually your CMC works with the ombudsmen and often chaplains will work the FRG”, said Long.
According to the 2018 FRG Handbook, FRGs help plan, coordinate and conduct informational, caretaking, morale-building and social activities to enhance preparedness and command mission readiness and to increase the resiliency and well-being of Sailors and their families.
For more information about Family Readiness Programs, visit https://ffr.cnic.navy.mil/Family-Readiness/Fleet-And-Family-Support-Program/Work-and-Family-Life/Deployment-Readiness-Support/Family-Readiness-Groups/.