RAF Mildenhall, England --
The 100th Logistics Readiness Squadron installation deployment readiness cell(IDRC) at RAF Mildenhall, England, coordinates the deployment process that enables Airmen to successfully execute the mission downrange.
The IDRC is responsible for supervising the deployment process of all base entities, as well as certain geographically separated units.
“We don’t own any of the processes, but we oversee and manage the entire deployment process,” said Tech. Sgt. Ralph Steele, 100th LRS plans and integration section chief. “That includes three wings because we have the 352nd Special Operations Wing, the 100th Air Refueling Wing, and the 501st Combat Support Wing. We have a level of responsibility to anybody who falls under those categories to ensure that they get to whatever location they’re tasked to.”
The IDRC works closely with unit deployment managers(UDM) to answer questions and research information that can set the deploying individuals up for success.
“We try to work as closely as possible with their UDMs. They’re the bridge between us and their unit,” said Staff Sgt. Nicole Nagy, 100th LRS wing air expeditionary force reporting tool manager. “We try to provide them as much support as possible when they have questions, and look up as many details as we can for them in regards to their deployers.”
Flexibility is an essential attribute for members of the IDRC, as they must adjust to deployment taskings delivered with varying levels of advance notice.
“It really depends on the type of movement and the type of crisis we’re responding to,” said Steele. “If it’s a standard rotational deployment, it could be anywhere from six months to a year prior that they’re notified.”
At other times, due to the necessities of the mission, notification occurs much more rapidly.
“Sometimes we get that phone call that’s like, ‘hey, something is going on - we can’t talk about it, but get your guys ready.’ We might be pushing them out the door that night,” said Nagy.
The responsibilities of the IDRC fluctuate depending on the type of deployment, yet their commitment to making the process proceed smoothly remains constant.
“We can be working in the office watching a schedule and making sure times are met, or we could be out running around crossing t’s and dotting i’s,” said Nagy. “We’re here to support the mission and we’ll do whatever it takes to get it done.”