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Planning for deployments - 97 IDRC prepares mobility Airmen

97th Logistics Readiness Squadron Installation Deployment Readiness Center Airmen pose for a photo.

From left, Senior Airman Nathan Gurrera, Senior Airman Erin Smith, and Airman 1st Class Amanda Edwards, 97th Logistics Readiness Squadron Installation Deployment Readiness Center (IDRC) logistics planners, stand for a photo, Dec. 3, 2020, at Altus Air Force Base, Oklahoma. From Turkey to Afghanistan, Air Force Airmen are being deployed across the globe to help protect the nation, and it all starts with the IDRC. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Dallin Wrye)

ALTUS AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. --

Nearly every day, Airmen across the Air Force prepare to deploy around the world in support of air superiority for the defense and protection of our nation and national interests abroad.

Airmen of the 97th Logistics Readiness Squadron Installation Deployment Readiness Center make this mission possible by properly preparing and processing Airmen for deployment, as well as ensuring their combat readiness.

“On a typical day, our job as logistics planners usually consists of analyzing deployment documents, preparing the base Unit Deployment Managers for their briefings and safeguarding classified information,” said Airman 1st Class Amanda Edwards, 97th LRS IDRC logistics planner. “We are also responsible for notifying and communicating to base leadership any new or updated deployment taskings or discrepancies, along with managing readiness data for everyone on base.”

Processing classified information, monitoring wing readiness and projecting the next wave of mobility Airmen deploying downrange are all in a day’s work for a logistics planner at the IDRC. These planners are also responsible for overseeing deployer movements and processing hundreds of deploying service members from Altus AFB each year.

“I enjoy helping troops go out the door to deploy downrange and knowing I'm directly supporting the warfighting mission,” said Senior Airman Nathan Guerra, 97th LRS IDRC logistics planner. “Even though the mission at Altus is to train mobility Airmen, I enjoy my job and sending troops overseas because it allows me to be a part of the bigger Air Force mission as well.”

Along with their oversight, the IDRC team works hand-in-hand with the UDMs from across the 97th Air Mobility Wing. Senior Airman Erin Smith, 97th LRS IDRC plans and programs specialist, explains how logistics planners must constantly keep the UDM’s updated on their troop’s deployment status’ and requirements.

“We have to work pretty closely with our UDMs in order to make sure deploying Airmen are 100% ready to deploy,” said Smith. “We have about six months to ensure a deployer is medically qualified, all training is complete, and that they are mentally and spiritually prepared for deployment. ”

From Turkey to Afghanistan, Air Force Airmen are being deployed across the globe to help protect the nation, and it all starts with the IDRC. Edwards explained how serving as a logistics planner makes her feel proud knowing she has a part in supporting the bigger Air Force mission directly.

“Although we are just Airmen working as logistics planners, it makes me feel empowered knowing I play a role in the execution and movement of troops deploying across the world,” she said. “Big picture: logistic planners aid in global response and rapid mobility to help combatant commands across the globe by constantly providing the cycle of troops in response to the Air Force mission.”

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