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Behind the Lines: Mobility Unit prepares Robins airmen to deploy | News

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Behind the Lines: Mobility Unit prepares Robins airmen to deploy

Every week at Robins Air Force base, airmen get the call to leave home and head for far-away destinations.

13WMAZ went Behind the Lines to see how the mobility section boils deployments down to a science.

Before airmen can take off, they have to land a seat in a deployment class.


It's an hour-long litany of most everything that could possibly happen to airmen or their families, while they're away. Topics include legal, medical, mental health, and dental.

A professional from each realm briefs a different group of airmen. The Air Force asked that 13WMAZ only use first names for the safety of the deploying airmen.

"The first time I heard it, it was overwhelming with all the information," Aaron, a crew commander for a J-STARS unit, said.

Now, nearing a dozen deployments, he takes all the information in stride.

"It not only prepares us to go down range, but it also prepares us to be able to come home to our families," he said.

Gear will help protect their bodies. They walked 13WMAZ's Lorra Lynch Jones down the equipment line to collect every item an airmen needs to board a plane.

"This is my vest and all my chemical gear. It's heavy," Lorra said.

Canteens, a sleeping bag, ammo: By the time airmen reach the end, a 40-pound vest and an M-16 weigh them down. In all, military members lug 150 pounds of gear overseas.

While many hate to load-up and leave loved ones, the call to duty makes the journey worthwhile. The mobility wing prepped airmen for travel to 67 locations around the world in the past year. They manage and maintain about 800 full gear-backs at any given time.

Whether it's warding off rodent infestations in remote locations, or leaving blankets behind for children who miss mom or dad, the mobility unit covers it all.

"If they can get their scent on the blanket before they leave, it's actually very, very comforting to the child," Eileen Byrd, from the Airmen Family Readiness Center, said.

The mobility team parades the airmen through a checklist, making sure airmen know they offer everything from spiritual support, to putting wills and life insurance polices in place.

"They have to take care of themselves, and they have to take care of their families," she said.


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