Local

July 19, 2013

Kids see Operation Family First mock deployment as cool

Tags:
Staff Sgt. Joe Davidson

Senior Airman Andrew Reynoso, 452 Security Forces Squadron, helps 6-year-old Giovanni Medina get a clear sight picture as he holds on tight to the M240-Bravo Machine Gun. This, among other weapons, were on display during the Logistics Readiness Squadron’s Operation Family First event held in Building 385, July 13.

Grown up and not so grown up kids belonging to moms and dads of the 452 Air Mobility Wing were processed through a mock deployment line here last Saturday during the Logistics Readiness Squadron’s first “Operation Family First” event held at the deployment hangar, Building 385.

According to the event’s coordinator, Maj. Kristin Brockshus, 452 LRS commander, the main goal of the event was to connect with the families and to make them realize that all the members of Team March are here for them and their moms and dads while they are deployed.

“This event was an outreach event to support the deployer’s families,” said Brockshus. “Col. Mahaney talks about you take care of the people, they’ll take care of the mission. Well, a huge part of that is taking care of the people and their families,” she said. “We don’t have a lot of events in the Air Force Reserve that incorporates a lot of the families because reservists are so far away. They are located all over.”

Senior Airman Jonathan Villa Vargas, 452 Logistics Readiness Squadron, fits 10-year old Cristian Medina, with Individual Body Armor during a mock deployment line set up for kids at the first-ever Operation Family First event held in Building 385, July 13. Medina was one of about 40 kids who participated along with parents and other relatives. The event was designed to give children a feel for what their deploying parents go through during a real-world deployment.

Inside the deployment hangar at deployment station number 1, kids as young as 2 years old and others as old as 14, were issued personalized dog tags and told they would be deploying to Djibouti, Africa. and issued personalized dog tags. They were then shown the contents of a Meals Ready to Eat packet and had camouflage paint applied to their faces. At station 2, they donned Individual Body Armor, helmets, web belt, canteen and an M-16 ammo pouch. Some chose to make the equipment issue more complete by trying on gas masks.

The mini-deployees then shuffled their way to medical processing, where they were briefed on the importance of taking their medicines and each given bandages and “Don’t Do Drugs” bracelets.

After being declared fit for deployment, they were escorted to their weapons briefing and shown how to obtain the correct sight picture on an M40-B Machine Gun and GUU-5P Rifle.

Once they completed weapons orientation, they were loaded onto a bus and transported to an awaiting C-17 for seat assignments and safety briefing.

The round trip flight to Djibouti was short but still arduous considering the temperature of the parking ramp in the mid-afternoon sun. Upon arriving back at their main base the weary team of mock warriors disembarked, loaded onto a bus and were driven to the deployment hangar for debriefing. As members of each chalk entered the building they were welcomed back and revived with cake, cookies and punch.

Staff Sergeant Shamera Coleman, 452 Logistics Readiness Squadron, applies finishing touches to the camo-paint on 10-year old Cristian Medina’s face during a mock, deployment line set up by members of the squadron. He was among approximately 40 children, along with their parents, that attended the first Operation Family First event put on by the squadron, with support from the 452nd Security Forces Squadron, the Yellow Ribbon Program, USO, the 452nd Medical Group and others.

Overall about 40 kids and their parents participated in the event, which was made possible primarily with help from LRS members, but also supported by members of the 452nd Security Forces Squadron, Yellow Ribbon Program, USO, Airman and Family Readiness Center, the 452nd Medical Group and the contractor Satellite Services, Inc.

“This was a really good event my son and daughter really enjoyed it,” said Tech Sgt. Christina Huerta, “They learned a lot about what we go through now. The shots and records, and they’re actually excited to get on the plane. I told my son a couple of days ago, when I found out about it, that I signed him up for it,” Huerta said. “He didn’t understand the process of what I went through. Now that we’re here, it’s a completely different story and he understands a lot more.”

The number of members deploying through the end of the year is considerable and the Team March support structure is not always easily able to communicate to dependents because of their proximity to the base.
“So another goal of the event was to reach out to the family members of those who are about to deploy and say ‘Here is an event where you can bring your kids and introduce them to what deployments are,’” said Brockshus. “Because a lot of kids think that deployments are scary, they see what they see on TV and they may not understand it fully. So this is a way for the parents to connect with the kids and be able to say this is what mommy and daddy do when they deploy,” Brockshus said. “They see it’s not scary. It’s actually kind of cool, and hopefully they understand it a little bit better.”

Brockshus said the event was successful and that she saw nothing but smiles on the kids’ faces.

“They loved trying on the gear, having their faces painted and having their dog tags made.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Untitled-1

AAFES marks 119 years of serving Airmen

Today, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) celebrates 119 years of proudly serving Airmen, Soldiers and their families. AAFES is the 43rd largest retail organization in the U.S., with annual revenue of more than ...
 
 

March Air Reserve Base Child Care Program

March Air Reserve Base offers the Home Community Care (HCC) Program to the Air Force Reserve (AFR) and the Air National Guard (ANG) members during the primary Unit Training Assembly (UTA) drill weekends. March has four HCC program providers who are state licensed child care providers. Care may also be requested to use during a...
 
 
U.S. Navy photo/Greg Vojtko

NSWC Corona STEPs for future scientists, engineers

U.S. Navy photo/Greg Vojtko Capt. Eric Ver Hage, Commander, Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Corona Division, and Gordon L. Bourns, Science and Technology Partnership (STEP) vice president, sign an Education Partnership Agre...
 

 

Citizen Airmen wanted at March

Motivated recruiters are needed to help shape the future of the Air Force Reserve. The Recruit-the-Recruiter program is designed to identify Citizen Airmen, like yourself, who have what it takes to support the mission of the Air Force Reserve. “We are actively seeking qualified Airmen to apply due to projected vacancies throughout the Recruiting Service,”...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Juan Duenas

Combat Camera: Capturing Patriot Hook 2014

U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Juan Duenas U.S. Air Force photojournalist Master Sgt. Beth Conception, assigned to the 4th Combat Camera squadron, documents the loading of equipment on to a C-17 Globemaster III aircraft, wh...
 
 
U.S. Navy photo /Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Billy Ho

Defense Media Activity Riverside dedicates Flagpole

U.S. Navy photo /Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Billy Ho American Forces Network Broadcast Center Assistant Facilities Manager Mike Dodge prepares to raise the National Ensign, with Air Force Master Sgt. Nathan Huffhin...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin