What is deployment and what support is on offer?
Mj Vallely Deputy Head RAF HIVE (Service Delivery Manager)
Deployment is when a serving person (your spouse, partner, son, daughter, father, mother, brother, sister etc.) is required to go to a specified operational location away from their family, the timescales vary but this could be six months or longer. Whether this is your first ‘Deployment Separation’ or you have been through them before, they can still be extremely difficult for both the serving person and their family.
The affects of this are many, from the simple things on a day to day basis (dealing with bedtime routines/household chores) to that emotional support that daily contact brings. Often military life means you are away from family and friends, this is where your RAF HIVE Information Officer (HIO) and the Station Community Support Team can assist with supporting you.
RAF HIVEs supply RAF HIVE Deployment Packs (these can differ from station to station) and these are full of useful information:
• Booklets and DVDs on the deployment process and contact information for the Station and various outside supporting agencies
• Leisure vouchers
• Small ‘gizzits’ for children, these will differ from station to station but may include:
-Our ‘RAF HIVE Hello from Home’ book packed full of activities
including a ‘Chuff Chart’ to count down the days
-‘Stay Positive Wall’ charts
-‘My Busy Week’ books
• Forms to notify schools when a parent/guardian is deployed
• BFPO postal blueys and the INtouch mail service (a system that provides deployed personnel with a hard copy of a letter but sent from home via email)
• Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre (JCCC) card
• Information on Storybook Wings (recorded stories made by serving person)
• Station magazine
The RAF HIVE management team provides comprehensive Social Media coverage using both Facebook and Twitter; additionally, each station has individual RAF HIVE station accounts. You will be able to find information on all station activities including Deployment Trips/Events and deployment coffee mornings on these sites.
RAF HIVE are there to listen and signpost you in the right direction; please do not sit at home worrying, come and talk to the RAF HIVE Information Officer and join in with the activities on your station. If you are an ‘old hat’ with ‘Deployment Separation’ please come and talk to someone who isn’t, your knowledge and support could be invaluable to others.
Even if this is not your first deployment, our information is always being updated and there are usually new trips and new people to meet.
Find your local RAF HIVE
There is also lots of information available on the RAF website.
See also: Deployment
This news story is included in the Spring edition of Envoy magazine – the free magazine for RAF personnel and your families too. You can sign up online to have your own copy sent to your home (quarterly).