RAF MILDENHALL, England --
Children at RAF Mildenhall participated in a ‘kids deployment line’ hosted by the Airman and Family Readiness Center Aug. 2, 2018.
The ‘kids deployment line,’ or Operation Together and Ready, had sons and daughters from Team Mildenhall rally together to learn about what life is like in a deployed environment.
The event kicked off with the pre-deployment phase, where the children in processed with Airmen from finance, legal, medical and the base chaplain. Once in processed, the children stood in formation to hear a mission brief from their commander, followed by lunch and a Security Forces K-9 demonstration.
The children also toured three static displays: a CV-22 Osprey, a MC-130J Commando, and a KC-135 Stratotanker.
“My favorite plane was the one that carries the gas,” said 9-year-old Harper Richardson, “because it was really high up and he let us sit in the front seat. There were so many buttons and he let us steer the steering wheel.”
During the latter half of the day, the children visited stations around the hangar to learn about self-aid and buddy care, physical fitness and explosive ordnance disposal.
Matthew Woodworth’s three children took part in the day’s activities while their mom, Master Sgt. Aubree Woodworth, is deployed.
“I think when they finally get to talk to their mom again, they’re going to be really excited to tell her about today,” Woodworth said. “They’ll have lots of questions to ask her about her deployment.”
One part of the U.S. Air Force’s initiative is building resilient families, and Operation Together and Ready was an event focused on resiliency.
“When we have resilient Airmen, that will translate into resilient families,” said Senior Master Sgt. Marlon Jackson, AFRC Readiness NCO. “By doing events like this, we can build resiliency in the children because this gives them an idea of what it’s like when their parents go off and deploy.”
The day ended with the commander rewarding each kid with a coin, a token for all their hard work on the long deployment. Finally, the kids were welcomed home with kisses and cupcakes.