SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany – Approximately 575 students from Spangdahlem Elementary School attended Children's Deployment Days at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, May 22-24, 2017.
The event was a three-day simulated deployment line for students in kindergarten through fifth grade. It consisted of a mock pre-deployment brief about flying to Batman’s Gotham City, an individual protective equipment station, simulated immunizations, static vehicle displays and a tour of a C-17 Globemaster III aircraft.
“Our main goal was to make sure the kids have fun,” said 2nd Lt. Pascal Won, 52nd Logistics Readiness Squadron deployments officer in charge and event coordinator. “We also wanted it to be educational; to show them what their parents experience before a deployment.”
The first stop for the children was the C-17 Globemaster, a cargo aircraft with a wingspan of approximately 170 feet that can carry a payload of nearly 165,000 pounds.
“I got to climb in an airplane,” said Maielyn Ross, 6, Spangdahlem Elementary School kindergartener and daughter of Tech. Sgt. Morris Ross, 52nd Operations Support Squadron NCO in charge of airfield management. “It was really, really big.”
At another section, 52nd LRS Airmen dressed in protective equipment and laid out more on a table for children to interact with.
"The individual protective equipment was a fun learning activity for the kids," Won said. "It was a very hands-on experience where they could pick up the equipment and see what protects mom and dad."
Along with the pre-deployment activities, booths from the Airman and Family Readiness Center, Spangdahlem Red Cross, United Service Organizations and chaplain’s office were set up with child-friendly handouts and goodies for the students.
“We’re very grateful for everyone who contributed to the kid’s deployment line and had a hand in this event,” Won said. “Everyone who participated interacted well with the kids to make sure they had fun and I’m very pleased with the outcome.”