TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AFNS) —
Over 400 Airmen were able to deploy through the new Air Force Force Generation as they head out from Travis Air Force Base. These Airmen are the first on Travis AFB to be able to experience the Air Force’s new deployment model.
The newly implemented AFFORGEN model aims to reconstitute manpower, aircraft and equipment into force elements that train, deploy and recover as cohesive units throughout each phase of the 24-month cycle.
“It feels like we are going back to our roots when it comes to deployments,” said Lt. Col Dominick Niziol, 21st Airlift Squadron and deployment commander. “This AFFORGEN model is helpful because we’re all deploying together and our families back home are given a stronger support system than before.”
The old deployment model crowd-sourced individual Airmen and custom packages for deployment requirements, where their first interactions were in-theater. AFFORGEN allows Airmen to train together before deploying, foster team and unit cohesion before arriving at the fight, and shift Airmen’s focus from providing capabilities to providing functionality.
“We were able to see our iron pick-up and deploy with our personnel downrange,” said 1st Lt. Amy Arnold, 60th Logistics Readiness Squadron installation deployment officer. “This is a good thing for our maintainers and pilots because they get to leave with the jets these Airmen are familiar with.”
Niziol said the majority of people deploying are supporting Travis AFB aircraft and in the past the small handful of people leaving all at once didn’t spurn any support for families back home, but now families are all experiencing the deployment together.
At the Operation Homecoming Passenger Terminal on Travis AFB, families gathered to say their goodbyes and received resources to get support while their Airmen deployed. Deployment kits were passed out to include resources for families to stay in touch with other family members in case they need assistance.
“Moving from the small groups of deployers, the one to two people deploying at a time, to this model, I believe, will be better for our force,” Niziol said. “We’re an expeditionary power, which is an important tenant of airpower.”
Incorporating the 860th Maintenance Squadron and 60th Operational Support Squadron into this group brings together an entire force element to support the mission overseas, Niziol said.
“To deploy as a team and working as one cohesive unit from Travis Air Force Base is pretty awesome,” Arnold said.
The four phases of AFFORGEN are reset, prepare, ready and available to commit. The first phase, reset, gives Airmen time to connect with family and friends, take post-deployment leave and reintegrate and reconstitute into their units and day-to-day way of life.
To receive family support during deployment, contact your local key spouses or visit www.militaryonesource.mil for resources and assistance.