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1st SOSFS establishes family room amidst COVID-19

Photo of a baby holding a block in front of a wall in a room

Alice Young, daughter of U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Danielle Dryja, a patrolman with the 1st Special Operations Security Forces Squadron, plays with a building block in the 1st SOSFS family room on Hurlburt Field, Florida, July 15, 2020. The family room provides a safe and quiet space for Air Commandos to care for their children while also completing duties as service members. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Robyn Hunsinger)

Photo of child playing with dinosaur toys on a table in a room.

Lena Freeman, daughter of U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Imani Freeman, NCO in charge of resource protection with the 1st Special Operations Security Forces Squadron, and U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Joseph Freeman, NCO in charge of training with the 1st SOSFS, plays with toys in the 1st SOSFS family room at Hurlburt Field, Florida, July 15, 2020. The family room currently includes a refrigerator, microwave, changing table with storage for diapers, breast pumps, a rocking chair, and a small play area with wipe-able toys and books. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Robyn Hunsinger)

Photo of a father sitting on a chair with his two children while reading a book.

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Joseph Freeman, NCO in charge of training with the 1st Special Operations Security Forces Squadron, reads with his children, Luca and Lena Freeman, in the 1st SOSFS family room at Hurlburt Field, Florida, July 15, 2020. This room gives members a safe, clean, and quiet place to care for their children while completing daily duties. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Robyn Hunsinger)

Photo of a child drawing in a coloring book in a room.

Lena Freeman, daughter of U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Imani Freeman, NCO in charge of resource protection with the 1st Special Operations Security Forces Squadron, and U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Joseph Freeman, NCO in charge of training with the 1st SOSFS, colors a picture in the 1st SOSFS family room at Hurlburt Field, Florida, July 15, 2020. Air Commandos with the 1st SOSFS created a family room for their personnel to utilize as a safe, private place to care for their children while they are at work. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Robyn Hunsinger)

HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. --

Air Commandos with the 1st Special Operations Security Forces Squadron created a family room for their personnel amidst Coronavirus Disease 2019.

The room gives members a safe, clean, and quiet place to tend to their children’s needs.

“As the Child Development Centers had to reduce manning due to COVID-19, our defenders championed the creation of a family room,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Bill Hunter, commander of the 1st Special Operations Mission Support Group. “It’s a place where our defenders can bring their kids. We took a tour and it was impressive. You feel like you are walking into someone’s home.”

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Haley Turner, noncommissioned officer in charge of physical security with the 1st SOSFS, doubling as a defender and a mother, brought up the idea when she was impacted by childcare facilities limiting their capacity because of COVID-19.

“We, as a unit, are able to provide an area where personnel who have to stop into the squadron with their kids have an area to change their child’s diaper, feed them, provide a safe area for them to play and still do what they came to the unit to do,” said Turner. “Because of this room, we are able to still support the unit and our Airmen through a difficult time if they have to bring their children in for any reason.”

Members of the 1st SOSFS decided to design the family room similar to lactation rooms. The new family room also accommodates personnel and their children outside of regular Child Development Center hours.

“The family room was organized to specifically benefit the security forces section because cops work nights, days, weekends and holidays when other personnel are not at the office,” said U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Rebecca Hess, NCO in charge of electronic security systems with the 1st SOSFS.

The room currently includes a refrigerator, microwave, a changing table with storage for diapers, breast pumps, a rocking chair, and a small play area with wipe-able toys and books. Additionally, the room is located near restroom facilities for hand-washing and sanitizing materials.

“I am proud to have been a part of this experience, to have taken part in this project,” said Turner. “When we ensure family is a focus in the lives of military members and we are able to take care of one another, I believe the military member can give top job performance and be ready to support the mission at all times.”