Buckley children experience basic training, mock deployment
By Airman 1st Class Samantha Saulsbury, 460th Space Wing Public Affairs
/ Published September 16, 2014
BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo.- -- The 460th Force Support Squadron hosted the 6th Annual Operation Future Forces Sept. 13 at Camp Rattlesnake.
OFF allows children ages 8-18 to experience what military members endure from basic training to technical school to a mock deployment, ending with a homecoming party.
"The youth mock deployment was developed to alleviate many of the stresses commonly experienced by young family members when one or both parents are deployed," said Thomas Cox, 460th FSS youth programs chief. "Everything from inprocessing, basic training, tech schools, camp activities and accomplishing their mission as a team made the event a one of a kind opportunity for military kids."
A few of the boys had their heads shaved before heading off to" Basic Military Training." The training consisted of doing push ups and sit ups, jumping through hula-hoops and running through an inflatable castle. They were also taught how to stand at attention, salute and do an about-face.
After basic training, each child attended "technical school" and was taught a specific Air Force Specialty Code to help them in their mock deployment. Some children were taught lifesaving self-aid and buddy care skills while others learned about the importance of radio communications while on a deployment.
The tech-school graduates were then issued squirt guns before heading out. During their deployment the children encountered hostile and non-hostile citizens, a water-balloon fight and injured allies who needed help along the way.
At the end of a long day, loved ones waited outside the youth center on base with homemade signs welcoming the "troops" back home.
"This event was great," said Senior Airman Jasmine Madison, 460th FSS Force Support Force Management technician. "It's a way for kids to get a hands-on understanding of what their parents do when they are separated from them during deployments."