CREECH AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — Protecting the nation’s freedom is more than a job—it’s a way of life. For Airmen slated to travel downrange, their lifeline to safeguarding this freedom lies with the unit deployment manager (UDM).
“Every unit has a unit deployment manager,” said Tech. Sgt. Jeremiah, 43nd Wing/ 432nd Group UDM. “UDMs will coordinate with their leadership to fill deployment requirements, and keep up with readiness of the members within their unit.”
Ensuring Airmen and cargo are ready to go at a moment’s notice, UDMs are the men and women in the background that produce deployment-ready personnel. From keeping individual mobility status current to ensuring Airmen are trained for the duty at hand, they are the experts who allow Airmen to be ready to go any time, any place.
According to Jeremiah, a UDM is invaluable to the unit. Resources available for deployment are measured and managed using different databases and show factors such as personnel readiness, cargo data and, if any, discrepancies of personnel or assigned materials.
UDMs also report the status of manning and readiness to leadership, schedule annual medical and dental exams for members within the unit, and arrange additional training specific to the deployment needs.
“There’s a lot more that goes into deployment readiness than you might think,” said Jeremiah. “It can be difficult to coordinate with units located downrange because they are on a different time zone, so I have to come into work earlier to communicate with them.”
Since getting deployment-ready Airmen out the door is no easy task, UDMs are usually selected for the duty based on individual merits and qualifications. Some units assign UDM responsibilities as a full-time UDM, while others, such as Jeremiah, are assigned the responsibilities as an additional duty.
“While leaning on your UDM is expected, Airmen should try to keep up-to-date on their fitness and training,” Jeremiah said. “I can’t stress enough how important it is to be up to date on computer based training and basic deployment-readiness training. It’s my responsibility to make sure Airmen are prepared to be sent downrange.”
Jeremiah added that although it can be hard work, he is able to go home after a long work day and feel rewarded for in knowing he enabled the wing to be deployment ready.
“If I could, I would do this job for the rest of my time in the Air Force,” said Jeremiah. “I like the amount of time and effort I have put into making sure that our Airmen are ready to go. Knowing that I’m enabling the RPA enterprise is amazing.”