Military News

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Kids step into parent's boots during deployment operations

by Maj. Angelic Ramirez
Space and Missile Systems Center Public Affairs

10/22/2015 - LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, El Segundo, Calif.  -- The Airmen and Family Readiness Center at Los Angeles Air Force Base will host the annual Kids Understanding Deployment Operations event at the Fort MacArthur parade grounds Saturday, Oct. 24 from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in San Pedro, Calif.

The annual event provides military children and teens of families stationed at the Space and Missile Systems Center in El Segundo, Calif., the opportunity to experience the deployment process similar to what their parent(s) go through before heading overseas.

KUDOS is open to children and teens ages 5 to 15 and must be accompanied by an adult. It is open to children of military, Department of Defense and Contractor employees, according to Tech. Sgt. Melvin Morena, 61st Force Support Services and organizer of the event.

While the Airmen and Family Readiness Center offers many programs available to help the service members and families during deployments, KUDOS is specifically designed for children.

"The event will kick off with the children processing through a deployment line; all real-world agencies will be on site to in-process participants. They will receive their travel card, uniform (t-shirt), mobility bag, required medication (skittles and simulated vaccinations) and military orders," said Morena.

Once everybody has processed the deployment line they will be provided an intelligence brief and welcomed by the commander. Participants are broken into groups and led by military members to different stations to learn hands-on military skillsets that include self-aid, buddy care and self-defense techniques. An obstacle course and real world military exhibits will be available with guided instruction and demonstration.

The junior deployers can taste a variety of the Meals, Ready to Eat, apply camo face paint and don mission orientated protective posture, or MOPP gear.

The event will conclude with a small ceremony honoring each participant who will be given a KUDOS dog tag and a welcome home ceremony at the parade field where family and friends can cheer on participants and greet them with welcome home signs.

"It is a one-of a kind event that educates, builds team work, and challenges you both physically and mentally. More importantly, we make the process fun! Fall in for a day in our boots!" said Morena.

For more information or to register for KUDOS, call (310) 653-5428.

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