375th Air Mobility Wing Mobex
Whether providing humanitarian aid or projecting unrivaled combat airpower, the need to move the Air Force’s most valued asset — the Airmen — is paramount, and each step in that journey requires a trusted liaison.
That liaison is the Unit Deployment Manager, who at Scott alone helped to deploy about 700 members each year in support of Department of Defense missions.
“We sign up for a reason right?” said Capt. Clay Chaffin, 375th Logistics Readiness Squadron installation deployment officer. “You’re at the installation for training. When you’re down range you’re performing your wartime mission. It’s the UDM’s job to prepare the individual to perform down range.”
UDMs ensure that each person’s training is complete, is medically qualified, and equipped with proper uniform items and gear. Then UDMs coordinate with the Installation Deployment Readiness Center for travel requirements.
Brian Williams, 375th Medical Group UDM, said that “It is quite the process. There’s no way with the amount of people and the operations tempo that we have in today’s military that members would be able to do it by themselves.”
The IDRC at Scott AFB is responsible for managing all deployments in and out of Scott, not just the 375th Air Mobility Wing.
“Deployment availability codes, delayed notifications, anything deployment related — the UDMs are contacting us. In a nutshell, the ball would be dropped if UDMs were not part of the process.”
Williams said that the UDM position can be challenging based on operations tempo and suspense dates for deployments. Another reason that the UDM position can be challenging, is the fact that depending on the size of the unit, the UDM responsibility may vary.
“The medical group is lucky and unique because the UDM position is a full time position,” said Williams. “A lot of the other smaller squadrons, it’s an additional duty. So on top of their normal duty, they have to take care of these people as well.”
He also said that every UDM is unique because of where he or she may work. The requirements for a member in a civil engineer squadron may be different than ones for medical. The UDM must know how to operate those systems, but in the end, the UDMs have the same goal.
“It’s making sure people are prepared to go to war,” said Williams. “Most of these deployments are in the areas of the world that no one else really wants to go to. It’s making sure members are safe and are prepared to do their job down range and gives them a unique piece in their career to talk about later. I think a lot of members feel it is in honor to deploy.”