Even though we are drawing down in Afghanistan, there are service members still deploying. The moment when your loved one announces they are deploying or being mobilized can be overwhelming. You might not know where to start when it comes to getting prepared. Soon there will be Command Deployment Night briefings and various readiness classes you can take at your local family support center, however in the meantime here are highlights from the Military OneSource, Plan My Deployment resource that can further help in your preparation:
There are four sections on the Plan My Deployment area and they include:
Pre-Deployment/Mobilization – Being Prepared
Deployment/Mobilization – Staying Connected
Reunion/Reintegration – Successful Homecoming
Reintegration – Settling in
By entering just a few pieces of your personal information (service member status, branch of service and family status), you are then able to access these various areas of informative content on the website. You might also consider signing into the site to customize Your Deployment Plan. The site allows you to break down the steps of preparing for deployment in manageable pieces. You’ll access areas that include everything from how to get a power of attorney, to tips for coping with a deployment and how to prepare for homecoming and reintegration.
"With Plan My Deployment you can take some of the stress out of deployment or mobilization, through access to planning tools, checklists, and helpful tips. Whether it's your first deployment or mobilization or your fifth, you will be able to create a unique checklist for the Pre-Deployment, Homecoming, and Reintegration stages that contains only the information you and your family need to successfully navigate the process."
The guide also includes information on Individual Augmentee (IA) deployments. This type of deployment “occurs when a service member receives orders to deploy individually or with a small group to augment a different unit. This type of deployment is different from deployments that occur when an entire unit, squadron, or ship is ordered to deploy.” When my husband deployed or went underway, I was used to him leaving with a command and I had the support of our fellow boat spouses. When he deployed to Afghanistan with the Army, he deployed as an IA and finding fellow spouses whose husbands were deployed along with mine was not an easy process. It forced to me to connect in other ways and join an Individual Augmentee readiness group through our local family support center. We would meet once a month for a potluck dinner on base and plan other activities for our children and ourselves. All of our spouses were deployed to Afghanistan or Iraq. This group was invaluable to me during a very rough time. I encourage you to connect into readiness groups like this one to find others going through your same situation.
Using a resource like Plan My Deployment can help you navigate both a traditional deployment/mobilization and most importantly an IA deployment.
Share your best navigating a deployment advice by leaving me a comment below.
Plan My Deployment website – Military OneSource
Online Resource to Help Ease Deployments – YouTube