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Schriever children participate in mock deployment at Air Force Academy

Capt. Willy Gedeon, 50th Space Wing individual mobilization augmentee chaplain, briefs children prior to their “deployment” during the in-processing session of the Kids Understanding Deployment Operations event, U.S. Air Force Academy youth center Colorado, Sept. 7, 2019. Approximately 67 children and teens ranging in aged eight to 18 arrived at their “deployment processing center” early in the morning to start their deployment experience. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Matthew Coleman-Foster)

Capt. Willy Gedeon, 50th Space Wing individual mobilization augmentee chaplain, briefs children prior to their “deployment” during the in-processing session of the Kids Understanding Deployment Operations event, U.S. Air Force Academy youth center Colorado, Sept. 7, 2019. Approximately 67 children and teens ranging in aged eight to 18 arrived at their “deployment processing center” early in the morning to start their deployment experience. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Matthew Coleman-Foster)

Children try on equipment of Airman 1st Class Gabriel Dela Pena and Airman 1st Class Scott Ketchum, 13th Air Support Operations Squadron during the Kids Understanding Deployment Operations event at Jack’s Valley Training Complex, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado, Sept. 7, 2019. KUDOS is designed to help military youth gain insight into the deployment process. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Matthew Coleman-Foster)

Children try on equipment of Airman 1st Class Gabriel Dela Pena and Airman 1st Class Scott Ketchum, 13th Air Support Operations Squadron during the Kids Understanding Deployment Operations event at Jack’s Valley Training Complex, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado, Sept. 7, 2019. KUDOS is designed to help military youth gain insight into the deployment process. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Matthew Coleman-Foster)

Col. Brian Hartless, 10th Air Base Wing commander, right, briefs children on what to expect during their “deployment” experience during the in-processing session of the Kids Understanding Deployment Operations event, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado, Sept. 7, 2019. The day’s events mirrored the stages of an actual deployment process to help children of military members understand what their parents go through when they deploy. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Matthew Coleman-Foster)

Col. Brian Hartless, 10th Air Base Wing commander, right, briefs children on what to expect during their “deployment” experience during the in-processing session of the Kids Understanding Deployment Operations event, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado, Sept. 7, 2019. The day’s events mirrored the stages of an actual deployment process to help children of military members understand what their parents go through when they deploy. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Matthew Coleman-Foster)

Airman 1st Class Zachary Jones, 50th Force Support Squadron force management apprentice, fist bumps Micah, 11, one of the children in his chalk during the in-processing session of Kids Understanding Deployment Operations, in the U.S. Air Force Academy youth center, at USAFA, Colorado, Sept. 7, 2019. Approximately 67 children and teens ranging in aged 8 to 18 arrived at their “deployment processing center” early in the morning to get their deployment experience started. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Matthew Coleman-Foster)

Airman 1st Class Zachary Jones, 50th Force Support Squadron force management apprentice, fist bumps Micah, 11, one of the children in his chalk during the in-processing session of Kids Understanding Deployment Operations, in the U.S. Air Force Academy youth center, at USAFA, Colorado, Sept. 7, 2019. Approximately 67 children and teens ranging in aged 8 to 18 arrived at their “deployment processing center” early in the morning to get their deployment experience started. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Matthew Coleman-Foster)

Elisha, 6, left, paints his face with camo paint as Airman 1st Class Emily Arthur, 50th Security Forces Squadron response force member, helps him during the Kids Understanding Deployment Operations event at the U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado, Sept. 7, 2019. The Airman and Family Readiness Centers from Schriever Air Force Base and USAFA offered military children an opportunity to interact with base agencies to learn about the deployment process. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Matthew Coleman-Foster)

Elisha, 6, left, paints his face with camo paint as Airman 1st Class Emily Arthur, 50th Security Forces Squadron response force member, helps him during the Kids Understanding Deployment Operations event at the U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado, Sept. 7, 2019. The Airman and Family Readiness Centers from Schriever Air Force Base and USAFA offered military children an opportunity to interact with base agencies to learn about the deployment process. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Matthew Coleman-Foster)

Naelani, 5, navigates the balancing pole during the obstacle course portion of the Kids Understanding Deployment Operations event at U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado, Sept. 7, 2019. The children were transported to Jack’s Valley Training Complex, where they watched a K-9 demonstration, went through a confidence course, learned about Tactical Air Control Party, and had lunch courtesy of the USO. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Matthew Coleman-Foster)

Naelani, 5, navigates the balancing pole during the obstacle course portion of the Kids Understanding Deployment Operations event at U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado, Sept. 7, 2019. The children were transported to Jack’s Valley Training Complex, where they watched a K-9 demonstration, went through a confidence course, learned about Tactical Air Control Party, and had lunch courtesy of the USO. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Matthew Coleman-Foster)

A child watches as K-9 Nick pulls a simulated suspect out of a vehicle during the K-9 demonstration portion of the Kids Understanding Deployment Operations, at Jack’s Valley Training Complex, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado, Sept. 7, 2019. More than 60 local military, Department of Defense and contractor’s children and teens experienced first-hand what their military family members experience when deployed. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Matthew Coleman-Foster)

A child watches as K-9 Nick pulls a simulated suspect out of a vehicle during the K-9 demonstration portion of the Kids Understanding Deployment Operations, at Jack’s Valley Training Complex, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado, Sept. 7, 2019. More than 60 local military, Department of Defense and contractor’s children and teens experienced first-hand what their military family members experience when deployed. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Matthew Coleman-Foster)

U.S. Air Force Academy cheerleaders, athletes and families greet children as they return home from their “deployment” during the Kids Understanding Deployment Operations event, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado, Sept. 7, 2019. Children participated in hands-on demonstrations during KUDOS to gain awareness of what it takes to deploy as a service member. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Matthew Coleman-Foster)

U.S. Air Force Academy cheerleaders, athletes and families greet children as they return home from their “deployment” during the Kids Understanding Deployment Operations event, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado, Sept. 7, 2019. Children participated in hands-on demonstrations during KUDOS to gain awareness of what it takes to deploy as a service member. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Matthew Coleman-Foster)

Children navigate an obstacle course during the Kids Understanding Deployment Operations event at Jack’s Valley Training Complex, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado, Sept. 7, 2019. The event brought approximately 67 local military, Department of Defense and contractor’s children who were placed into three separate chalks for the simulated which simulated the deployment process. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Matthew Coleman-Foster)

Children navigate an obstacle course during the Kids Understanding Deployment Operations event at Jack’s Valley Training Complex, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado, Sept. 7, 2019. The event brought approximately 67 local military, Department of Defense and contractor’s children who were placed into three separate chalks for the simulated which simulated the deployment process. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Matthew Coleman-Foster)

UNITED STATES AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. --

The Schriever and U.S. Air Force Academy Airmen and Family Readiness Centers co-hosted a mock deployment exercise geared toward military children at U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado, Sept. 7.

Master Sgt. Peter Uson, Schriever AFB AFRC readiness noncommissioned officer, said the event, called Kids Understanding Deployment Operations, gives military children the opportunity to get familiar with the deployment process.

“This event helps [children] better understand and relate to their parents as they go through the different phases of a deployment,” he said.

The event brought approximately 67 children from the Schriever AFB and USAFA military communities together to participate.

“This is the first time two bases have come together for a KUDOS event,” Uson said. “Overall, KUDOS together was successful.”

Uson said a big factor in the Air Force Academy hosting the event was the availability of resources to provide an effective deployment experience.

“As readiness NCOs we try to maintain good working relationships with each other and take advantage of the opportunities each base has to offer,” he said. “When USAFA offered to host, we were really excited because it gave us a chance for us to see how KUDOS events are really done.”

Children were assigned to three different groups and experienced a deployment line, K-9 demonstration, confidence course, 13th  Air Support Operations Squadron Tactical Air Control Party display, and were provided lunch. The event culminated with a welcome home celebration where parents and USAFA athletes welcomed the “deployers” home with cupcakes.

Micah, 11, said the event gave him insight into the deployment experience.

“When I was a little younger, my mom and dad both deployed at the same time,” he said. “I knew they were gone for work, but I didn’t understand exactly what it meant. KUDOS helped me [understand] and made me think about joining the Air Force. I’d like to be TACP.”

More than 50 volunteers, supported the event and Uson said it event would not have gone as well as it did without their support.

“Our chalk leaders, Fort Carson, medical, Tactical Air Control Party, and [base] security forces were crucial to the success of the event,” he said. “It took a lot of preparation, and we started coordination for the event about four months ago.”

Airman 1st Class Josh Dickens, 50th Force Support Squadron customer service, one of Schriever’s volunteers, said it was a phenomenal experience to work with the children in his chalk.

“The way the event was set up and organized was impressive,” he said. “Seeing the kids go through the obstacle course was fun and it was amazing to see them learn about the deployment experience their parents may have to go through. It was refreshing hanging out with the military children. They were full of life and excitement during the event.”

Uson said he hoped children who participated in KUDOS went home with a better idea of what their parents go through during the phase of a deployment.

“There are a lot of processes and emotions involved when someone deploys, especially for families with children, so it is valuable for the children to see and actually experience it on their own,” he said.

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