UDMs help prepare its best for deployment
By Airman 1st Class Rebecca Imwalle, 28th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
/ Published March 17, 2015
ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. --
At any given time, Ellsworth can have more than 350 Airmen deployed in various locations around the world doing what they do best - protecting our nation's freedom. But these Airmen do not get there alone.
Prior to each deployment, each squadrons unit deployment managers take charge of ensuring base Airmen are fully prepared to deploy when duty calls.
First Lt. Andrew Graham, 37th Bomb Squadron B-1 bomber weapon systems officer, took the special duty position as a UDM nearly six months ago.
"UDMs are an integral part of the deployment process," Graham said. "Without UDMs, a unit cannot deploy."
Graham added that preparing an Airman for deployment can take anywhere from a day to several months. The duration of this process varies due to timing and mission requirements, along with waiting for training slots to open.
"We can have Airmen ready to deploy in a day or two," Graham said. "After notification of deployment, UDMs must provide the individual with necessary deployment equipment, updating mobility folders, getting paperwork filed and sending them out the door."
Master Sgt. Matthew Miller, 28th Maintenance Squadron UDM, is one of two specialized managers assigned to work with 28th MXS Airmen during their deployment process.
"Our mission is to make sure the Air Force is getting Airmen [who] are qualified in the right way to deploy downrange, at the right time and ensure the process is smooth." Miller explained. "We are providing the Air Force the Airmen it needs to win the fight overseas. So, our job definitely has a vital role in the big Air Force picture."
UDMs ensure the squadron can deploy successfully. Their duties include making sure personnel have the necessary deployment items and creating and updating reports used to inform leadership on a squadron's deployment status.
"We have to make sure commanders downrange get what they need," Miller said. "We scour over these personnel, looking at every detail within their files. From medical to training records, we must ensure they are completely ready to go. If we fail to provide appropriate equipment and trained Airmen, we run the risk of losing lives of our ground forces that the B-1B directly supports."
Miller noted that once a tasking is received, a lot of work goes into finding the right Airman for that slot. UDMs must know a deployed location's requirements to ensure Airmen are prepared for what they will face downrange. Airmen must also be medically cleared for deployment and have completed all required training.
"The best part of being a UDM is the satisfaction of watching our people who are properly trained and equipped go downrange and accomplish great things," Miller added.