Deployments are an inevitable part of military life. Despite the challenges of separation and change, deployments can be managed. Information and skill building is key to managing the deployment. Working in concert with Command Leadership, the Family Readiness Group and Ombudsmen, the FFSC will help provide the necessary information and practical skills that allow active duty and family members to cope with deployment challenges.
Years of experience and knowledge about the deployment process make it possible to design a series of informational programs and support services. Over the years, FFSC has provided assistance in three stages of the deployment cycle:
- During the Deployment
- Reunion and Homecoming
FFSC offers a variety of workshops that address the challenges associated with military deployment. In general, these education programs deal with information needs that develop during the three phases of deployment: pre-deployment, during the deployment and homecoming and reunion.
Deployment & Mobilization WorkshopsFFSC offers a variety of workshops that address the challenges associated with military deployment. In general, these education programs deal with information needs that develop during the three phases of deployment: pre-deployment, during the deployment and homecoming and reunion.
Kids & Deployment
This program (approximately one hour) is generally presented through the Command Family Readiness Group and would be scheduled after the Command has left for deployment. The class addresses the typical reactions of children to the deployment and provides parents the opportunity to discuss unanticipated, real-life situations that have developed since the deployment began.
A 60-minute program for couples and geographic bachelors. It suggests ways to cope, communicate, and keep in touch while apart. It also encourages financial planning for deployment through budgeting, allotments, and savings.
Deployment Readiness Brief
Participants will learn successful coping skills and how to avoid deployment pitfalls at this single-session, two-hour program. This class will assist Sailors and family members in adjusting to the changing demands of the Navy’s Fleet Response Plan. Attend one of the classes at your nearest FFSC or commands can include this brief in their training programs at their command. Commands can include this brief in their training programs at their command.
Financial Planning for Deployment
A pre-deployment program offered at Commands that addresses the many financial issues deploying Sailors or Marines must prepare for.
Families who have been managing on their own during long deployments face a major adjustment when members return home. Often, beneath the excitement and anticipation is stress about reintegrating the returning member into family life. FFSC's Homecoming program helps those at home "make a good thing better" by addressing concerns in a discussion format.
After many months of separation, the feelings and emotions associated with homecoming are overwhelming. With so many positive feelings surrounding the anticipated reunion, what is there to learn that could possibly make this event even better?
The experienced staff at Fleet and Family Support Centers has capitalized upon many homecoming experiences and offer a few observations and common questions that family members usually experience.
Anticipation of homecoming
- You may wonder whether your partner has changed over the long separation.
- You now remember all those decisions you had to make on your own and whether they were the "right" ones — now with the benefit of hindsight.
- Even though you really want him/her back, will you miss the freedom and independence that you enjoyed during the deployment?
- Will the kids adjust easily to the other parent?
- You've not done all the things you wanted to over these many months, will he/she want to "go and do" or just sit back and relax.
After the homecoming is over
- The military member doesn't seem to appreciate all the little things done while he/she was gone. Why not?
- He/she may seem more distant sometimes and wants to be alone a lot. You may want more family time. What's that all about?
- You may have made a lot of nice changes to the house. Why didn't your spouse notice them?
- You thought he/she would want to spend more time with the kids.
- Seems like the "homecoming high" ended so quickly, especially since you had such anticipation.
Managing Separation Successfully
This workshop may be offered to Family Readiness Groups shortly after a command leaves on deployment. The workshop is designed to assist non-deployed partners in understanding and dealing more effectively with separations due to deployment. The presentation is intended to provide a supportive environment for participants to discuss their emotions, normalize their reactions and identify coping strategies.
Deployment Readiness for Parents
A program for parents and children age 4-16 that helps prepare parents and children for separation. Parents are presented with suggestions for maintaining communication with their deployed spouse, as well as information on children’s typical reactions to deployment. Meanwhile, the children participate in “hands-on,” age-appropriate activities that help them understand and cope with deploymen.
A 60-minute program for singles that includes information on financial planning, vehicle storage, and communication with friends and family members.
Return and Reunion
An onboard program for active duty personnel that prepares service members to re-enter the family and community. FFSC staff conduct a variety of 45- to 60-minute workshops onboard the ship as it transits to home port. Workshops include Car Buying, Money Management, Returning to Children, and Reunion for Couples.
Individual Augmentee Support
Individual Augmentees (IAs) are Sailors who support or “augment” another Navy, Marine Corps or Army command. Sailors usually go to their IA assignment on temporary or TAD orders and return to their current or “parent” command once they complete their assignment. Assignments vary in length from a few months to a year or more. FFSCs provide IA family member case management support while the Sailor is deployed. Please contact your local FFSC for more information on this service.