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NEWS | Dec. 10, 2013

Call to action: Preparing for a short-notice deployment

By Staff Sgt. Stephanie R. Plichta 633rd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

The U.S. Air Force requires Airmen to be ready and qualified for deployment at any given time. When it is time to deploy, preparation may seem challenging with the many requirements on an out-processing checklist.

If the requirements of a deployment are not stressful enough, Airmen who receive a short-notice deployment tasking must complete the same checklist in only a fraction of the time, which ranges from 72 hours to 30 days.

Michael Pascucci, 633rd Logistics Readiness Squadron installation deployment officer, manages all deployment taskings for Langley Air Force Base.

"Short-notice [deployment] taskings usually come from one of two scenarios: emergent requirements, or from last minute disqualifiers," said Pascucci.

Emergent requirements are recent requirements developed for the area of responsibility, and the tasking needs to be filled as soon as possible. Last-minute disqualifiers are caused when an Airman originally tasked to deploy is disqualified for one or more reasons.

Pascucci recommended Service members maintain a positive attitude throughout the deployment process.

"Taskings are not meant to disrupt or inconvenience [anyone]; sometimes it just happens," said Pascucci. "Additionally, every individual needs to know when they are [eligible] for a tasking."

Pascucci advised Airmen to visit their unit deployment manager first and create a plan.

"Knowing the UDM and being prepared to deploy will reduce the [stress] when a short-notice tasking falls," said Pascucci.

While UDM's should be one of an Airman's first stops when preparing to deploy, there are other individuals that can assist in the deployment process.

Master Sgt. Scott Bender, 1st Maintenance Squadron first sergeant, who has experienced short-notice taskings, offered advice to first-time deployers.

"You never know when you will be called to action to support and defend the United States," said Bender. "You must be ready to focus on the task you are asked to do, so take care of your family needs before you leave. [That way,] when you arrive at your deployment location, you will be ready to focus on the mission."

While first sergeants may be one of many individuals offering advice, the Air Force has created programs specifically to aid Airmen throughout their deployments.

The Airman and Family Readiness Center is available for all Airmen preparing to deploy and offers multiple programs before, during and after their deployment.

Master Sgt. Dawn Chapman, 633rd Force Support Squadron readiness noncommissioned officer, provides a mandatory pre-deployment briefing for Langley Airmen.

"We're here to help Airmen and their families through the deployment process," said Chapman. "With confirmation from a UDM that [someone] has received a short-notice deployment, we will make sure [they] receive their out-processing briefing quickly in order to deploy on time."

Chapman aids Airmen and their families from the moment they receive their notification up to six months after they have returned with programs such as PLAYpass, Hearts Apart, Returning Home Care and many others.

"If I could offer just one piece of advice, it would be to make a plan," said Chapman. "Taking an hour to read through the UDM checklist and creating a plan could save an individual a lot of frustration."

With proper planning and preparation, procedures are in place for Service members to deploy in a short amount of time. Airmen may use multiple agencies to aid them during a short-notice tasking, which will lead to smoother out-processing.

For more information about deployments, Airmen should contact their unit UDM. For additional information about AFRC programs, call 764-3990.