Martha Deluzio takes her required Anthrax immunization, represented by a purple Skittle, during the deployment processing line Aug. 10, 2007. Youths attending Operation JET visited several stations during before deploying to Camp Freedom at Lackland AFB, Texas, including uniform issue, immunizations, legal services and chapel briefings. Martha is the daughter of Master Sgt. Sarah and Tech. Sgt. Anthony Deluzio, both assigned to the 37th Training Wing. (USAF photo by Alan Boedeker) (Photo by Alan Boedeker)
Zach Fox, left, and Darren Chargualaf thumb through a pocket-size Bible that was distributed at the chapel's deployment station during Operation JET Aug. 10, 2007, at Lackland AFB, Texas. Zach is the son of Master Sgt. Lisa Fox-Simmons, Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Agency, and Tech. Sgt. Gregory Fox, 37th Logistics Readiness Squadron. (USAF photo by Alan Boedeker)
(Photo by Alan Boedeker)
Capt. Russell "Bus" Callaway, 37th Military Personnel Flight commander at Lackland AFB, Texas, swears in the new Airmen before sending them on their half-day deployment on Aug. 10, 2007. (USAF photo by Alan Boedeker) (Photo by Alan Boedeker)
LACKLAND AIR FORCE BASE, TEXAS —
When Tech. Sgt. Greg Fox from the 37th Logistics Readiness Squadron at Lackland AFB deploys in a few weeks, his 10-year-old son Zack will have a true grasp of the process leading up to his father's departure, thanks to Operation JET.
The young man was among 167 Team Lackland children who participated in a mock deployment program called Operation JET, or Junior Expeditionary Team, at Kelly Field Annex Aug. 10.
"I understand what they have to do now," said Zack Fox. "I know it's hard for them, but I had fun today, especially holding the guns."
The participants also went through a deployment line for briefings, finance information, immunizations and chapel services.
At the fictional Camp Independence, the children were exposed to gas masks, artillery, snakes that could be encountered on some missions and aircrafts.
"It's pretty cool actually. You get to do different stuff like what your parents did. It's kinda cool," said 10-year-old Cameron Johnson.
A few community leaders who helped sponsor the event that cost about $3,000 also participated in Operation JET.
"The idea of helping children understand and experience what their parents do when they are deployed is very important," said Barbara Gentry, USAA senior vice president of community affairs and new honorary wing commander. "They say deployment impacts us also. So we were very happy to work together with groups that put this on today."
Tech. Sgt. Dan Krautheim, 37th Mission Support Squadron family readiness NCO, who coordinated the event, said several Team Lackland members were involved in the project, including the Airman and Family Readiness Flight, 37th Services Division, 37th Security Forces Squadron, 59th Medical Readiness Field Hospital, 342nd Training Squadron, 37th Civil Engineer Squadron, the Base Fire Department, 319th TRS and the Inter-American Air Forces Academy.