Planning key to a successful deployment

  • Published
  • By 2nd Lt. Rachel N. Ingram
  • 445th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

For Citizen Airmen and families alike, preparing for a deployment can be stressful and overwhelming. The entire process may take as few as three months, or up to a year. In the 445th Airlift Wing, the Airman & Family Readiness (A&FR) Office serves as a resource for all potential deployers.

“We provide a wide range of programs and services to support members before, during and after deployments,” said Alvin Dennis, community readiness consultant.

The A&FR Office provides a pre-deployment checklist which covers personal, financial, and medical topics, among others.

“If you have already obtained a pre-deployment checklist from the A&FR Office, you are far ahead of the process,” Dennis said. “If not, please do so immediately.”

Unit deployment managers (UDM) also consolidate pre-deployment tasks in a checklist.

 “The first thing an individual needs to do once slotted for a deployment is log onto Air Expeditionary Force (AEF) Online,” said Scotty Lykins, 445th Mission Support Group UDM.


“The expeditionary readiness checklist spells out all the training required prior to deploying. Pre-deployment training is paramount.”

A number of programs and resources are available to Citizen Airmen and their immediate families during a deployment. Some of these programs begin as much as six months prior to the deployment.

“TriCare Prime is one of the very important benefits relating to Reserve deployments,” Lykins said. “It covers six months before the deployment and six months following, and that coverage extends to any dependents listed in DEERS.”

Families are also invited to attend a Yellow Ribbon event both before and after the event, which are all-expenses paid.

“It’s crucial to be proactive, not reactive,” Lykins said. “Update your emergency contact data online, tighten up your family affairs, and keep open lines of communication with your family and spouse throughout the preparation period so they know what to expect.”

To successfully transition into a deployment, follow the below timeline while preparing to deploy, in conjunction with directives on the readiness checklists from the A&FR Office and your UDM.

One year prior to deployment
- Obtain a pre-deployment checklist from the A&FR Office

Six months prior to deployment
- Familiarize yourself with the Service Member’s Civil Relief Act (SCRA), which ensures protection regarding issues like terminating lease agreements, eviction prevention, deferred income tax, and reduced interest rates on pre-existing debt
- Allow the A&FR Office to create a photo pillowcase for your child under the age of 12, at no cost to you
- Reach out to Dogs on Deployment, a nonprofit that will connect you with volunteers to board your dog while you’re deployed
- Notify your civilian employer of your upcoming deployment, and familiarize yourself with yourself with your reemployment rights under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA)

One month prior to deployment
- Connect your spouse with the Key Spouse Program
- Reach out to the Air Force Aid Society if you need an interest-free loan during the deployment
- Attend a Yellow Ribbon event (within 120 days of the start of deployment)

During deployment
- Your spouse is entitled to up to four hours per month of free childcare at one of the child development centers on Wright-Patterson Air Force Base
- The auto hobby shop will perform an oil change and safety check on your spouse’s vehicle, free of charge.


For assistance with an upcoming deployment, please call the A&FR office at 937-522-4607.