UDMs get them ready

GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Each year, hundreds of service men and women are deployed from Goodfellow to various locations around the globe, executing and serving in a multitude of functions and operations in defense of our nation. However, these deployments could not be accomplished as smoothly without the help of the select men and women known as the UDM, or unit deployment managers. 

"The UDM is an additional duty in most squadrons, however I feel it is one of the most important positions in the Air Force, said Tech. Sgt. Carol Champ, 17th Training Support Squadron UDM. "Due to the current world situation, we are deploying personnel all over the world, and the UDM has the responsibility to ensure our personnel are ready to go." 

"It really is an awesome job," she added. 

There are approximately 45 UDMs (primary and alternates) assigned to Goodfellow. This includes the Goodfellow NCO Academy and the Air Force Element in Presidio of Monterey, Calif. 

According to Sgt. Champ, officially, a UDM must be appointed in writing by the unit commander and have 18 months retainability. 

Unit deployment managers do a number of things to help their unit members prepare for their deployments. They gather uniform and equipment items for their unit deployees, and coordinate and document training. 

"One of the most important roles of a UDM is to ensure the unit Aerospace Expeditionary Force Reporting Tool Unit Type Code reflects correct and current information," said Master Sgt. Sean Wade, 17th Training Wing Plans superintendent and 17 TRW Staff UDM. "The AEF Center and major commands use this report to fill deployment taskings." 

Both Sgts. Wade and Champ agree that the pre-deployment preparation of servicemembers can, at times, be very time consuming. 

"It really depends on the deployee and the tasking, said Tech. Sgt. Champ. 

"On average, I probably spend four or five hours from start to finish. However, personnel deploying for the first time may require more attention and direction." 

The extra hours of work do little to waver the spirit of dedication and hard work of UDMs like Sgts. Wade and Champ, a spirit perhaps best captured with the following statements by the two UDMs. 

"There are times when the UDM position becomes extremely busy, but the thank you's that I receive from the personnel returning home make it all worth while," said Sgt. Champ. 

Sergeant Wade echoed her thoughts. 

"Even though UDM duties sometimes take a good amount of time, you feel good knowing you had a small hand in getting people prepared to do what we do...fight and win wars," he concluded.