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Maintaining the mobility mindset

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Richard Parkinson
  • 624th Civil Engineer Squadron
Finally! We completed our Operational Readiness Inspection and the endless drill weekends bringing in our personal  bags, studying our Airman's Manual and participating in Wing Operational Readiness Exercises, where we processed our pallets and people through the deployment  center. 

Some people told me we can now get back to our normal UTA schedule and get away from this "mobility stuff" - they miss the point. 

Before Desert Storm, we were a "strategic reserve" where we were called up during a major contingency and had some time to prepare for a deployment. Today we are an "operational reserve" where Reservists are out supporting the Air Force mission every day. We are members of an expeditionary Air Force with continuous deployments to support national objectives. 

Those of us in the Civil Engineer career field are being involuntarily mobilized and sent out to support the mission, in fact, even CE Individual Mobilization Augmentees are now being mobilized with the intent of sending them "down range" to support the mission. 

The days of coming in for a weekend each month and a two week annual tour are over - we need to be mission ready every day and have an expectation of deploying several times during our career. 

As individual Reservists, we need to be prepared to deploy - today! 

You need to have every item required for your personal deployment bag and be able to bring it in to the unit at a moment's notice. You need to take care of personal issues, such as wills, family care and financial arrangements NOW. 

Medical readiness is also important - complete your personal health assessment, dental and any other occupational health assessments on time. 

Don't forget your personal physical training; you need to be fit enough to get through some demanding days. We need to be physically, mentally and spiritually prepared to perform at a high level during an extended deployment. 

In summary, as an expeditionary Airman in an operational Air Force we need to have a mobility mindset where we are always prepared to deploy to support the Air Force mission.