News>CE UDMs prepare Icemen for downrange readiness
Senior Airman Travis Marshall, 354th Civil Engineer Squadron expeditionary engineering programs manager, organizes M-4 carbines after an operational readiness exercise April 24, 2014, Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. Marshall works with the 354th CES unit deployment managers to assist in deploying over 300 Airmen assigned to the squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ashley Nicole Taylor/Released)
Senior Airman Travis Marshall, 354th Civil Engineer Squadron expeditionary engineering programs manager, reviews a mobility folder April 24, 2014, Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. Marshall tracks over 8,000 training items to ensure members of the 354th CES are eligible to deploy. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ashley Nicole Taylor/Released)
Airman 1st Class Zackary Woolley, 354th Civil Engineer Squadron emergency management apprentice, returns an M-4 carbine to Senior Airman Travis Marshall, 354th CES expeditionary engineering programs manager, April 24, 2014, Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. During a recent operational readiness exercise, the 354th CES unit deployment managers issued over 100 weapons to Airmen. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ashley Nicole Taylor/Released)
Senior Airman Travis Marshall, 354th Civil Engineer Squadron expeditionary engineering programs manager, ensures a weapon is cleared April 24, 2014, Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. The CES has an armory capable of holding over 300 weapons. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ashley Nicole Taylor/Released)
by Senior Airman Ashley Nicole Taylor
354th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
5/2/2014 - EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska -- What does it take to ensure the biggest squadron on base is ready to deploy in a moment's notice? A team of two unit deployment managers along with three Airmen doing behind the scenes work for the UDMs from the 354th Civil Engineer Squadron have a good idea of how that's done.
Making sure that over 300 Airmen assigned to the 354th CES are deployable, entails using different systems to track members' health and training.
"The UDM's job is data manager. Our whole job is to know the requirements and make sure people are in compliance with those requirements," said Tech. Sgt. Brian Brown, 354th CES UDM and Prime BEEF manager. "Once we identify the areas that need to be completed, we send an email out to the superintendents or our Airmen help pull data and make sure people complete what they need to do to stay current on their records."
Keeping track of records for every Airman is a substantial task, but with the help of others, the UDMs can maintain organization.
"We have different programs that manage the requirements each Airman needs to meet, but a lot of the work is done by people that work for us. We couldn't do nearly anywhere what is required if we didn't have the people to help us," said Brown. "The three Airmen that work for us do a ton of stuff when it comes to tracking items and scheduling many appointments such as when to get certified in shooting weapons."
Aside from processing personnel, the UDMs will process equipment that is needed during exercises or deployments.
"We can process equipment like toolboxes, communications equipment like radios and even vehicles like Humvees that the explosive ordinance disposal flight would need for mobility," said Brown. "We keep tools that would be necessary to build a new base palletized and ready to go at all times so that we can quickly send it out if it ever became necessary."
The busiest time for UDMs is the week before exercises. The UDM staff works late nights ensuring all Airmen are current on their medical and remain weapons-qualified.
"Every exercise has been consistently different, so it keeps us on our toes," said Master Sgt. Sangva Sam, 354th CES Prime BEEF Manager and UDM. "The rules and expectations are never the same and that makes it very difficult to make changes on the fly so the bottom line is being flexible and adaptive."
Aside from the hectic exercise weeks, the UDMs are doing an important job contributing to Eielson's mission in assisting over 60 Airmen on their deployments.
"I think the most important thing is that we're just a mover of pieces," said Brown. "We could not do our job and get people where they're supposed to go without the help of other people."