Lining Up and Shipping Out: 1st personnel deployment function line at Patrick SFB in 13 years

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Spencer Contreras

On October 5th, 2023, the 45th Logistics Readiness Squadron hosted its first personnel deployment function line in more than 13 years at Patrick Space Force Base, Florida. PDF lines are organized to help streamline the pre-deployment process for service members.

“It's a routine thing where members who are deploying come in, pick up their gear for deployment, and then go down a line where they speak with different agencies on base,” said U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Emily Davis, 45th LRS deployment and distribution flight commander. “That can include medical, finance, judge’s advocate, chaplain, and any other helping agencies that want to be present. They make sure that the members are up to date with their out-processing and have everything done.”

A PDF line requires planning and preparation on the part of the organizers. This one was no different.

“We started by meeting with the Military Personnel Flight commander, because this is our process, but the line is under their jurisdiction, so they're responsible for coordinating with the agencies,” said Davis. “We also met with the Inspector General to make sure that we're doing everything correctly, picked a date, and then MPF reached out to the agencies. Finally, we did a quick tabletop exercise where we talked through it.”

Previously, members who deployed from Patrick SFB had to visit all the necessary agencies individually in order to complete their checklists.

“With the start of Air Force Force Generation, or AFFORGEN, we’re seeing a lot more deployments, and a lot more people being tasked,” said Erica Harrison, 45th LRS installation deployment officer.

The AFFORGEN deployment model is a 24-month cycle with four 6-month phases: prepare, certify, available to commit, and reset. Those in charge of deployment readiness are trying to keep everyone informed about the changes to come.

“We went out to every unit commander on base and said ‘this is what AFFORGEN is, it’s coming, and it’s coming fast’,” said U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Eli Haley, 45th LRS non-commissioned officer in charge of plans and programs. “We brought in our unit deployment managers to train them on AFFORGEN and what the new phases look like.”

The recent adoption of this model will continue to bring changes to Patrick SFB.

“We're shifting the mindset at Patrick SFB, because we've previously thought that everything happens from the launch pad, and we won't have to go anywhere,” said Davis. “There's a huge misconception that U.S. Space Force members don't deploy. With this new change, it's getting back into that ‘warrior mindset’. We're still operational and still have a mission to accomplish.”

With AFFORGEN becoming the new standard in deployment models, this PDF line is the first of many to come at Patrick SFB.