Deployment Transition Center celebrates 25,000 milestone

  • Published
  • By Airman Trevor Calvert
  • 86 Airlift Wing Public Affairs

The Deployment Transition Center recently celebrated helping more than 25,000 U.S. Air Force Airmen redeploy to their home stations.

The DTC, created in 2010, focuses on bringing redeployers back into a non-deployed environment and readjusting them to life outside of contested areas.

“The redeployers go through a four-day program that is meant to provide critical reintegration skills and decompression opportunities,” said U.S. Air Force Maj. Christina Kyc, 86th Mission Support Group Detachment 1 DTC program director. “They already have the reintegration skills. We are just bringing those skills back to the forefront of their mind and making them prominent again.”

Other than the initial arrival, the staff stays in civilian clothes throughout the whole stay to make the experience as relaxing as possible. Kyc added they try to give back to Airmen after their contributions to demanding mission requirements over the course of their deployments.

“When they come off the plane and we are taking their bags for them we want them to not think of it as in processing,” said Kyc.

For many people who have deployed, small differences can be jarring and hard to get used to again. The DTC helps transition redeployers by combining small things, such as driving their own car, shopping for groceries, and seeing grass, with public spaces to see how they will react, and help work through those feelings.

The DTC team takes redeployers to tourist destinations around Germany to get them used to being around people and places again. These places include Hamburg, where they are given the freedom to explore, eat and enjoy the culture.

“Everything in the DTC is programmed and intentional,” said U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Ashley Graham, 86th MSG Det. 1 DTC senior enlisted leader. “Whether they believe it or not, every part of the DTC helps them transition back into normal life. Even the water fountains are intentional in teaching the redeployers that water isn't always readily available in water bottles.”

The DTC team is composed of 26 deployed Airmen and three permanent-party Airmen from different career fields to support the redeployers one step at a time. Kyc said because the staff in the DTC are also deployed, they understand being away from their families for a long time and the importance of reintegration.

“The simple thing of hearing people being happy to see rain or take showers, you can’t [quantify how that affects people,]” said Graham. “25,000 people have been aided in some fashion, big or small, in their transition back home. That’s the whole goal of the program: give them the tools to make it a smoother transition.”

The program provides critical integration and decompression opportunities to Airmen returning from a deployment. Graham said the DTC has no plans of slowing down when it comes to helping Airmen on their way home and giving them opportunities to reintegrate into society.