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Military and Family Readiness Center hosts mock deployment event for children

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Shelimar Rivera Rosado
  • JBER Public Affairs

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, AK -- The Military and Family Readiness Center hosted the Kids Understanding Deployment Operations event at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, June 3rd, 2023. This event was a mock deployment process aimed to give children and family members a glance and hands-on experience of the different phases of deployment.

The event had three phases – the first was an in-processing and deployment simulation, the second phase included a tour of C-17 Globemaster III, and phase three was a mock deployment base with 13 static displays, including U.S. Army vehicles to represent the joint base capabilities.

“This was a collaborative effort, with so many different people and units,” said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Dorothy Cadenas, Military and Family Readiness Center readiness non-commissioned officer. “The event is a reminder that it takes all of us to help each other through deployments.”

The event was supported by the 673d Security Forces Squadron, the 773rd and 673d civil engineering squadrons, the 673d Logistics Readiness Group, JBER chaplains, the 11th Airborne Division Band, and the U.S. Army 17th Combat Support Sustainment Battalion along with helping agencies.

“My favorite part of the event was seeing the smile on my son’s face when he had the opportunity to travel on a bus to process at the Joint Mobility Complex and get an up-and-close experience with a C-17,” said U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Martin Castillo, 673d Medical Group senior enlisted leader. “In fact, at the end of the event, my son said that ‘this was the best day ever,’”

During the event, children had the opportunity to try on Explosive Ordnance Disposal bomb suits, Mission-Oriented Protective Posture gear and see different weapons, such as the M-4 and M-16 carbines. They were also able to watch a K-9 demonstration from the 673d Security Forces Squadron and learn drill movements with the JBER Honor Guard.

“This is the first time we have had an event that included all the different phases and the first time in over fifteen years that we have done something similar,” said Cadenas. “Now that we have a baseline, I hope we continue to do this event at least once a year and expand the event to our spouses and other JBER community members.”

More than 90 families participated in the event, with a total participation of 355 people and 100 volunteers.