Operation KID familiarizes youth with deployments

Holloman Air Force Base --

The Airman and Family Readiness Center, 635th Materiel Maintenance Group and Holloman’s Youth Programs teamed up Feb. 3, for the Operation Kids Investigating Deployment.

“Deployment is a family event,” said Master Sgt. Kimmy Middleton, the 49th Wing Airman and Family Readiness Center readiness non-commission officer. “It’s not just the deployer going off to fight down range. The kids are also affected a lot. We found that the more the children understand about what their parents are going through, the more they’re excited about how their parent is fighting for freedom. It makes it easier for them to deal with the challenges of the separation, and then they have a bigger picture idea of what the Air Force does.”

Operation KID is an annual event allowing children of military members to acquire a better understanding of what their parents go through prior to a deployment.

“This event helps the children visualize what their parents might experience during a deployment -- where they’re sleeping, what they’re eating, and what they might be doing with their time during the day,” said LaurieAnn Goodier, the 49th Force Support Squadron school liaison officer. “The children know how their parent is supporting the mission over there.”

Military children were given a walk around the Basic Expeditionary Airfield Resources compound to see a mock deployment site, have a mission brief, paint their faces, try on Mission Oriented Protective Posture gear, and learn about different equipment including the opportunity to see a robot demonstration from Holloman’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit.

“We at BEAR base set up a mini-deployed site, and we had them come out and look at all the shelters -- what you would see if you were deployed,” said Staff Sgt. Daisy Aleman, a 635th MMG logistics planner. “They are getting a feel for what it is to be deployed.”