When your Service person is deployed it can be extremely difficult for them and your family. On this page signpost to deployment support and practical advice, as well as where where to turn to for help if you are finding it hard.

Deployment support

RAF HIVEs

The RAF HIVE network can be a great support when your Service person is deployed. All staff are bound to a Code of Confidentiality and whilst not trained in welfare counselling, they are able to offer initial support to you and can make referrals to the best professional service for you.

The HIVE also provide ‘Deployment Packs’ and will have knowledge of local support services, if you live near an RAF Unit, and can offer practical help for your individual circumstances – more information in the pull-out below from Envoy.

Deployment Feature from Envoy Spring 2019

If you live away, in your own community, you can still contact the HIVE teams for information.

@RAFHive Facebook
@RAFHive Twitter
@RAFHive on Instagram

Hive Deployment Guides

The RAF HIVE has produced three deployment guides: one each for Service personnel, family members, such as parents, spouses or partners, and for Service Personnel with children.

RAF Hive Deployment Guide for Service Personnel cover image
RAF Hive Deployment Guide for young people cover image
RAF Hive Deployment Guide for family members cover image

Deployment Support for Children

There are many resources for children to access both generally and also during periods of deployment.

We have a section sharing good books that are available for children as well as general wellbeing resources for you to make use of for your children or school.

Deployment support for children >

Practical deployment advice

Keeping safe and secure on deployments

Practical tips for Service personnel on how to keep you, your unit and the RAF safe and secure whilst on deployment.

Deployment Welfare Package

The Service provided deployment welfare pack allows a few ‘home comforts’. On a six-month tour you can expect to have:

  • Access to telephones for private use
  • Welfare telephone allowance of 30 minutes per week
  • SKY TV
  • BFBS TV & SSVC Radio
  • Rest and Recuperation (R&R)
  • Post Operational Tour Leave (20 days for a 6 month tour)
  • Concessionary Travel For Families (Two trips per 6 month tour)
  • Internet facilities
  • Newspapers

Service information

Start by writing down the details/service number of your Serving family member going away as you will need them nearly every time you make a phone call about them to someone in the RAF.

Point of contact

Before leaving, your serving partner will nominate a Point of Contact’ (POC) in the RAF who will be your first point of contact for most matters. The POC should be someone in the RAF you know and are happy to contact when needed.

Support networks

Your friends and family will probably be your strongest support network. There are also social media networks where others in the same situation can provide support – they is usually a closed group on Facebook for ‘partners of’ on each RAF Station. Also consider our RAF FF Families group too.

If you have any issues you feel unable to handle, or you just need to talk, please remember that there is always someone in the RAF or its support services you can turn to for advice and support. Or contact us here at the RAF Families Federation and we’ll direct you to the right team/person.

See also our overseas section

Keeping in touch

There are now many methods of communication you can use to keep in contact with your deployed Service person. Check out our keeping in touch page for the best ways to contact your Service person whilst deployed.

In a family emergency call: 01452 519951

See what to do in a family emergency.

For non-emergency enquiries you can contact your assigned single Point of Contact (POC).

Preparing for return

Service Personnel can download and share our Coming Home or Return and Reunion booklets, available through the MOD’s internal pages (accessible to Service personnel only). There is also an online checklist provided in our Overseas section (we are happy to amend/update this list so feedback is very welcome when you use it).

Help adjusting

Following a deployment all personnel go through a period of decompression. This normally comprises of a formal break from operational theatre before returning home. This process provides a formal, structured and monitored environment to begin ‘winding-down’ and returning to a normal routine, reducing the impact of post operational stress.

Should your family need help adjusting, there are several routes you can take:

  • Mental wellbeing – The RAF Benevolent Fund provides a whole package of options for you and your family to explore. Much of which is free of charge to you, or comes at a cost after a set amount of sessions.
  • SSAFA – Providers of practical and emotional support to you both as the serviceman or woman but your families too. Teams are based on most RAF stations and the SSAFA website shares all the various ways in how they can help.
  • Station RAF Chaplains – can also offer support to you from within the RAF Community.

For further practical guidance visit the RAF Deployment pages.

Relevant help topics