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UDMs: here to help Team McConnell with deployments

Tech. Sgt. Rungkun Evans, and John Hudgeons, 22nd Air Refueling Wing Director of Staff unit deployment managers, pose for a photo, Nov. 25, 2015, at McConnell Air Force Base, Kan. UDMs manage the deployment process and provide individuals with the necessary knowledge and resources. (U.S. Air Force/Airman Jenna K. Caldwell)

Tech. Sgt. Rungkun Evans, and John Hudgeons, 22nd Air Refueling Wing Director of Staff unit deployment managers, pose for a photo, Nov. 25, 2015, at McConnell Air Force Base, Kan. UDMs manage the deployment process and provide individuals with the necessary knowledge and resources. (U.S. Air Force/Airman Jenna K. Caldwell)

MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. -- When an individual is tasked to deploy, the processing checklist can be a daunting and stressful task.

It's not necessary to navigate this process alone because each squadron has its own unit deployment manager. These trained individuals are available to help manage the pre-departure confusion and help get affairs in order. This ensures the deployment process runs smoothly and mission gets accomplished.

The managers provide deployers with job specific checklists and help them schedule all the required appointments.

"We sit down with individuals initially to make sure they are aware of all their requirements and meet with them periodically to answer any questions," said Tech. Sgt. John Hudgeons, 22nd Air Refueling Wing Director of Staff UDM. "We manage their mobility folder and schedule appointments like chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear training, along with initial combat arms training and maintenance for them if required."

A UDM is an additional duty assignment and requires at least two months of training and job preparation to become occupation qualified.

Not only do these individuals maintain their primary job responsibilities, but they also have to balance this additional mission of helping fellow Airmen. 

"When we have our busy times, between financial closeout and exercises, it's hard to juggle both jobs sometimes," said Hudgeons.

UDMs oversee the tasking process for deployers as-well-as arranging transportation, weapons security and processing all the paperwork.

UDMs also operate and update reporting tools that organize the availability and training status of all potential deployers under their authority. This includes coordinating a system called the standards of resource and training or (SORTs), which organizes unit training of personnel and equipment to ensure there is enough to cover upcoming deployment taskings, said Hudgeons.

Whether individuals have orders to deploy, move to a temporary duty assignment or permanent change of station, UDMs also manage the fluctuation of duty station placement traffic in and out of McConnell.

"It is hard on the deployers that are trying to get everything done before they leave," said Tech Sgt. Rungkun Evans, 22nd ARW DS UDM. "Imagine the frustration of a deployer that has no one to help with the checklist. We're here to manage some of that chaos."

UDMs can answer questions regarding the transition process and provide individuals with the necessary knowledge and resources so that individuals can deploy as efficiently as possible.

"If I had to do everything myself I'd be lost," said Staff Sgt. Byron Edwards, 22nd ARW chaplain assistant. "It's nice to have someone to double check with. I don't have to spend the whole day worrying about the deployment when I'm trying to get work done."

Deployers have many appointments to check off their list before leaving, and UDMs are here to help coordinate these affairs so that the out-processing runs smoothly--establishing more time for members of Team McConnell to continue the mission of refueling the fight.