A family-friendly deployment

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Victor J. Caputo
  • 22nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
More than 150 McConnell Airmen, spouses and children braved the cold weather and the harsh wind to experience the Family Mobility Line Oct. 6, 2012, McConnell Air Force Base, Kan.

Sponsored by the Airman and Family Readiness Center, spouses and children learned what it was like to deploy.

After meeting at the A&FRC, the participants splintered into smaller groups and marched to Building 1090 for "out-processing" and their mission briefing. Once this was accomplished, they were given the chance to tour a KC-135 Stratotanker before heading to Camp Kids Understanding Deployment Overseas.

"It's pretty realistic," said Senior Master Sgt. Roberto Carreno, 22nd Contracting Squadron superintendant. "We go through the same kind of processes when we deploy."

Carreno took his son David, 10, to the mobility line.

Several Airmen led the groups in a short physical training session to help everyone stay warm in the cold weather and strong, Kansas wind.

Col. Kyle Kremer, 22nd Air Refueling Wing vice commander, spoke to the different groups at the camp about how a deployment works and stated the importance of ensuring that their family members are safe and cared for is a top priority at McConnell, he said.

The first-hand experience was a big part of the event's draw.

"It gives your family a good perspective of what we go through when we deploy," said Carreno. "It lets them feel like [they're] a part of it."

A military working dog demonstration finished the event. The afternoon managed to fulfill both educational and entertainment goals with everyone who came.

"The event was great and we got a lot of very positive feedback," said Maryann Barry, 22nd Force Support Squadron community readiness consultant. "A lot of moms, dads and kids had a great time experiencing how it all comes together."