More than 160 military members returned here from contingency operations Jan. 30, and nearly all Ramstein-based returnees were able to participate in the KMC Family Support Center and Combat Care reintegration briefing process.
Air and space expeditionary force 7/8 returnees were the largest group of KMC’s redeployers to date, said Capt. Amanda Kitchen, 435th Communications Squadron officer in charge and reintegration line action officer.
“We were expecting about 60 folks and instead welcomed back 164,” Captain Kitchen said. “Being that we’re in the prime AEF return window, we really want to ensure our warriors have a smooth transition back into their homes, workplaces and the community.”
The reintegration line concept is similar to the personnel deployment function line used to prepare people to go from an in-garrison setting to downrange environment, Captain Kitchen said.
“This is the converse of the PDF line, in that we’re trying to bring a number of agencies to one place to assist deployers with medical, physical, psychological or financial needs they may have once they return from the area of responsibility,” the captain said.
Agency representatives include the chaplain, comptrollers, legal, and medical personnel among others, though the unit deployment managers play an integral part in ensuring returnees get information they need.
“The UDMs primary duty is to offer maximum information to deployers even before they return home so that once they get here, they can expedite completion of their checklist items and get on with their well-deserved time off,” Captain Kitchen said.
The reintegration process is broken down into three days of scheduled and non-scheduled activities, consisting of an arrival day, decompression day and the reintegration processing day.
Tasks include such checklist items as post-deployment health assessment, tax and travel voucher briefings, community announcements, and time for personal errands.
“A portion of the processing also covers communications skills, reconnection with children and spouses, and even offers sexual assault response counseling,” Captain Kitchen said. “If people had problems or trauma before or during their time downrange, it’s important that they understand those problems don’t usually go away on their own once they return from a deployment.”
The program’s success is in the allowances of more time for redeployers to enjoy commander-authorized days (free time after deployment) and time with their friends and family, said Lt. Col. Lee-Ann Perkins, 435th Air Base Wing inspections and readiness chief.
“The reintegration process line is a wonderful way to take care of redeployers and their families so that returnees can start their rest and relaxation time with minimal delay,” Colonel Perkins said.
To tailor the reintegration process to redeployers’ needs, participants are invited to complete a survey and express their opinions about the scheduled tasks and activities. attend. For details, call the KMC FSC at 480-5100.