319th RW Deploys second wave of Airmen under AFFORGEN

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Anthony Nunez-Pellicer
  • 319th Reconnaissance Wing Public Affairs

Airmen from the 319th Reconnaissance Wing preparing to deploy to several locations in support of U.S. Central Command, U.S. European Command, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command and U.S. Africa Command as part of Air Force Forces Generation cycle 24.2 attended a pre-deployment briefing Feb. 23, 2024, here.

The first group of Airmen deployed under the AFFORGEN model Sept. and Oct. of 2023 as part of the 24.1 cycle.  

The AFFORGEN model aggregates manpower, aircraft and equipment into force elements that train, deploy and return as cohesive units throughout four phases of a 24-month cycle. A major emphasis is strengthening unit cohesion and teamwork before entering the area of responsibility, as opposed to the legacy model that deployed individual Airmen who met their teammates for the first time downrange.

“We will feel it when you go, but we will also be with you when you go,” said Col. Timothy Monroe, 319th Reconnaissance Wing commander. “You being there is going to be critical to the success of the team that you’re joining. The team matters and going with mutual support matters.”

The AFFORGEN cycle has four phases: reset, prepare, ready and available to commit. Each phase is dedicated to different parts of deployment cycle, including time for reconstitution with family and friends or holding large-scale, joint exercises to reach peak readiness.

“When you deploy, you’ll be around some of the folks you know and you’ll also meet some new people; but no matter where you’re going, look at your teammates to your left and right -- they are who you will lean on and trust,” said Chief Master Sgt. Carl Vogel, 319th RW command chief. “Be flexible and be ready to do things that haven’t been asked of you before, but that you have been trained for and are prepared to do.”

In expeditionary environments airmen are exposed to higher operations tempos than they’re used to at home station and may face rapidly evolving, potentially dangerous scenarios. The AFFORGEN model ensures they are alongside familiar wingmen and have a clear and concise understanding of their commander’s intent to guide them through the fight.

“Embrace the challenge and stay plugged in,” said Vogel. “Life still happens, and a whole lot of life is going happen while you’re gone, so make sure you keep in touch with your families while gone too.”

In addition to transforming deployment operations, the helping agencies on Grand Forks are launching new and expanding existing initiatives to ensure the family members who stay behind are taken care of.

The 319th RW Integrated Resilience Office created a six-week messaging initiative that will prepare spouses for the approximately six months they will be managing on their own. The initiative will connect spouses with helping agencies tailored specifically to their needs and ensure whether this is their first, or tenth deployment they’re connected and cared for.

The Military and Family Readiness Center and Grand Forks AFB key spouse group also host monthly Hearts Apart dinners for family members of deployed and TDY service members and service members on year-long remote assignments. The initiative provides an opportunity for children and parents alike to connect with base community members experiencing similar struggles and lean on each other to strengthen social and mental resilience when needed most.

“Learn about the job, learn where they need help and make observations about where the people that you’re going to support need leadership,” said Monroe. “I’ll meeting you back here sometime in the fall to welcome you all home.”

For more information related to deployment support for families and spouses, or more information about Hearts Apart Dinners contact the M&FRC at 701-747-3241.

To receive information for opting into the IRO’s messaging service or receive information related to deployed family specific events, send an email to 319rw.cdv.iro@us.af.mil. Or call 701-747-4772