Getting ready

  • Published
  • By by 1st Lt. Emily Rautenberg
  • 514th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs


“Why are we here?” asked Master Sgt. Jeffrey Szymanski, 514th Logistics Readiness Squadron superintendent of logistics plans.

Many attendees of the 514th Air Mobility Wing’s Annual Mentoring Workshop responded with comments like: “to defend the United States of America,” “to fly, fight, and win,” and “to deploy.”

“How about to support combatant commanders?” Szymanski said, offering a new perspective on what we do at the 514th AMW.

Recently, there has been a big push at the wing, and within the Air Force as a whole, for all Airmen to be ready. Ready to deploy, ready for war, and ready to uphold the oath all U.S. service members take. That idea of readiness was strongly incorporated into the mentoring workshop, where attendees listened to briefings on both deployment readiness and at-home emergency preparedness.

In his “Deployment Readiness” brief, Szymanski gave attendees an insightful overview of the deployment process, and how to prepare for it. After all, as he mentioned, the 514th AMW is one of the most active wings in the Air Force Reserve Command when it comes to deployments.

Szymanski explained that at the foundational level there are Unit Type Codes, which are five-digit alphanumeric codes assigned by the Department of Defense. These UTCs describe a capability provided by a package of personnel, equipment, or a combination of both.

Reservists are under the Title 10 US Code, and Air National Guard members fall under Title 32. Szymanski outlined three main categories of Title 10.

The “POTUS Partial Mob Authority” consists of Title 10 12302, 12304, and 12304a. Service members in these statuses are entitled to accrue dwell, retirement date reduction, and enhanced Tricare.

“Voluntary In Support of Named Contingency,” Title 10 12301(d), entitles members to retirement date reduction and enhanced Tricare.

The “Pre-planned Mission Support,” is Title 10 12304b, and it entitles members to accrue dwell only.

Szymanski warned that employers now pay closer attention to employees’ orders when deployed. Employers may care if their service member is being mobilized versus volunteering for deployment.

At wing level, Airmen coordinate with their Unit Deployment Managers, who act on behalf of the unit commanders as the single point of contact between the unit and the Reserve Deployment Readiness Cell/Deployment Control Center.

The RDRC is the wing focal point for all deployment operations. The 514th RDRC consists of the following people:

·         Mrs. Karen Lamphere, Installation Deployment Officer

·         Lt. Col. Stephanie Aaron, Wing Deployment Officer

·         Master Sgt. Jeffrey Szymanski, Logistics Plans Superintendent

·         Tech. Sgt. Joseph Holder, Logistics Plans

·         Tech. Sgt. Mark Jahnke, Logistics Plans (Traditional Reservist)

·         Senior Airman Hannah Cooper, Logistics Plans (TR)

·         Tech. Sgt. George Glover, Installation Personnel Readiness

UDMs maintain full responsibility for their unit’s deployment planning and execution, and provide the unit commander a deployable force to execute the mission. Additionally, they advise the unit commander on readiness status and assist with the preparation and execution of unit deployments.

It is the personal responsibility of the Airmen to coordinate with their UDM and ensure their deployment folder is up to date. The best way to help the UDM and the wing, is to stay ready, said Szymanski.

He also encouraged everyone to check the Personnel Deployment Preparedness Tool on Air and Space Expeditionary Forces Online. PDPT contains an “Electronic-Deployment Readiness Checklist” which asks questions about dog tags, eyeglass insert for gas masks, current wills, and current power of attorneys.

“There is no such thing as a non-deployable Airman,” Szymanski said. “Half is being ready, being prepared to deploy, and half is knowing and being good at your job.”