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HOLLOMAN AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. – “I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”
All Airmen must abide by this statement when they join to serve the United States. Staying ready to answer the call is not only an honor, but a requirement.
The 49th Logistics Readiness Squadron Deployment and Distribution Flight plays a huge role in making sure Airmen here are ready to deploy when they are called upon.
“We are responsible for when the day comes, the number of Airmen that are tasked are ready to go,” said 2nd Lt. Arturo Hernandez, 49th LRS Deployment and Distribution deployment officer. “Just getting people out the door, getting Airmen out to support the downrange mission is our main function.”
In order to effectively get Airmen downrange, Hernandez has to work closely with wing leadership, squadron commanders and unit deployment managers all over base.
Whether they are contesting that the base cannot sustain losing the directed number of Airmen, or they just need to coordinate getting their members to their respective deployed locations, Hernandez and the deployment and distribution flight are crucial for getting Airmen ready to deploy.
“I’ve got to earn their trust,” said Hernandez, referring to wing leadership, squadron commanders and UDM’s. “We’ve all got to really be on the ball, and luckily we have a great team of Airmen and now a non-commissioned officer that kill it every day. But we’re going to make mistakes, and that’s okay as long as we learn and don’t repeat them.”
While the deployment and distribution flight is counted on to guide Airmen on base to fulfill their orders downrange, the taskings and requirements for personnel is updated every day, and keeping track of it can be a challenge.
“I think the most challenging part is keeping track of all the moving parts,” said Hernandez. “We have to keep in mind the intent of every squadron commander and make sure the deployment taskings aren’t hindering their mission too much, while at the same time trying our hardest to fill the numbers we were directed to. It’s a never ending cycle that requires constant communication and multitasking.”
Although the job comes with a lot of responsibility and difficult conversations, there are certainly rewarding moments as well.
“Even though we all want to serve, we want to go out there and execute the mission and help fight the enemy, there’s always a strain somewhere,” said Hernandez. “Whether it’s on their loved ones or just their home station workplace, these Airmen will be missed for the short time period they are deployed. That is why giving them the news they are deploying can be tough, but seeing them return is 100% the most rewarding part of my job.”
Serving the country on a deployment can give Airmen a sense of pride upon returning, and the 49th LRS Deployment and Distribution Flight do their part in ensuring Holloman Airmen are ready to go when the country needs them.
“We have members deploying constantly to every location you can think of,” said Hernandez. “Our nation calls us to serve and our number one priority is making sure that happens.”
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