SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. — Deploying service members often face feelings of anxiety and worry, but Airmen at the Installation Deployment Readiness Center work to relieve some of this stress by guiding them through the deployment process.
As deployment managers for all units on Scott Air Force Base, the IDRC processes hundreds of deploying service members each year.
“We put warfighters all over the world,” said Dan Detlefson, 375th Logistics Readiness Squadron assistant installation deployment officer. “Any place you can come up with off the top of your head, we could probably say we’ve deployed somebody there.”
Day-to-day, a large part of the IDRC team’s mission is devoted to monitoring deployment taskings and travel information. Because of the urgent matter of their mission, the IDRC has to remain ready and adaptable at all times.
“Deployers have to be constantly at a high state of readiness,” said Senior Master Sgt. Darren Wiseman, IDRC logistics plan superintendent.
“The IDRC also needs to be at a high state of readiness so we can adapt and overcome any challenges.”
The IDRC works to smooth communication, collaboration, timing and travel for deployers, especially those tasked with short-notice deployments.
“We have some people who need to leave out the door within days,” said Senior Airman Brian Jackson, 375th LRS logistics planner.
“We make sure that those people get where they need to go to do their job, to make sure the mission keeps going.”
Wiseman said that members who are about to deploy are sometimes dealing with feelings of stress, worry, fear, panic, anxiety or even depression, and can be amplified by short notice deployments.
The IDRC helps ease this anxiety by engaging with them throughout the deployment process.
“We get people in here on short notices who are looking to us to make sure they get everything they need,” said Detlefsen. “Especially young Airmen, first time deploying. They roll in here and a lot of the time they don’t even know what to expect, and so we help them through the process.”
The IDRC team ensures service members have all of the information they need before they deploy. They spend time researching requirements set by Air Force Instructions, Department of Defense Instructions, reporting instructions, operation orders, and execution orders, said Wiseman.
“As (logistics) planners, if we engage, then deployers feel connected,” added Wiseman. “Being alone is stressful, being connected is not as stressful.”
Along with short notice deployments, another opportunity the IDRC handles are sudden humanitarian crises, such as the major hurricanes that hit Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico in 2017.
“We sent out a lot of medical units and other additional equipment and life-saving supplies for hurricane victims,” said Wiseman. “We get to be adaptive.”
The relief efforts required them to coordinate with many agencies on base, such as contracting and legal.
“We step outside our comfort zones ... to coordinate in a very short amount of time,” said Detlefson.
He added that the work was stressful, but it was “a good stress” and “there was a sense of satisfaction at the end of it.”
Assisting with warfighting and humanitarian missions is a daily task for the IDRC team, and Jackson said the best part of his job is helping people contribute to the global mission.
“I enjoy helping people,” said Jackson, “and, in this seat, at my job, it’s helping people at a grander scale.”
Wiseman agreed that it’s rewarding to support missions around the globe.
“Knowing that the big picture mission is getting taken care of and some of it has to do with what we do, that’s a good feeling,” Wiseman said.