BEALE AIR FORCE BASE, California --
Saying "goodbye" to loved ones before a deployment can be difficult. The thoughts of "what if something happens while I'm gone?" or "what if I don't out process in time?" can go through your mind.
These thoughts and emotions can be normal for Airmen, but thanks to the guidance and processes given by the Installation Deployments Readiness Cell (IDRC) there are ways to prepare for a deployment.
The IDRC maintains the flow of Airmen by helping them meet Air Force Instruction standards before deploying.
Beale Airmen conduct deployment operations globally, spanning six areas of responsibilities (AORs), and accounts for 14 percent of Air Combat Command's deployed personnel, including in garrison. The 9th Reconnaissance Wing along with its tenant units are responsible for providing national and theater command authorities with timely, reliable, high-quality, high-altitude reconnaissance products. The wing also maintains a high state of readiness for potential deployment in response to theater contingencies through its agile combat support (ACS) forces.
“The deployment protocol Airmen utilize is our Beale Deployment Out-Processing program, which consists of four steps: Initial tasking, medical, Readiness Education and Deployment Information (READI) brief and Installation Personnel Readiness (IPR) final out-processing,” said 1st Lt. Timothy Palmer, 9th Reconnaissance Wing Alternate Installation Deployment Officer. “Some of these steps are scheduled 120 to 60 days prior to their deployment date. This allows the Airmen to have essential time to prepare and be with family."
The process begins with the installation receiving a deployment tasking, the IDRC validating and processing the tasking down to base level unit. Airmen then are notified by their Unit Deployment Manager (UDM) and are required to attend appointments before their final-out. The appointments include a visit to the medical treatment facility for an evaluation and to receive any vaccines, and READI brief.
The READI brief includes information given by base leadership, first sergeants and agencies such as, the Airmen and Family Readiness Center, Chaplain Corps., Equal Opportunity, Finance, Legal and Public Affairs.
"The purpose of the READI brief is for each of those agencies to give necessary information about services and support, which are offered to Airmen and their family," said Angelica Williams, A&FRC READI core compliance expert. "The brief gives Airmen the ability to be prepared on both sides, the deployment and home front."
The services Airmen and their families are offered are financial information, power of attorney, wills, school liaison support and support groups.
"The wing deploys Airmen frequently and we are consistently looking for improvements to become more proactive when it comes to our readiness," said Tod Brown, 9th Reconnaissance Wing Installation Deployment Officer. "Our priority is engaging with Airmen and getting their spouses involved to learn what tools the wing has to offer while their loved one are away. Incidents can occur and having services done before a deployment can make the difference in mission efficiency. Airmen should have the opportunity to have some peace of mind knowing they went through the pre-deployment process and took the assistance that was made available to them."