Providing appropriate support to families when a soldier is deployed, whether Regular or Reserve, is an important component of ensuring a successful mission. Support to those deploying and their family is delivered through the Chain of Command with a framework in place to support prior, during and following periods of deployment, whether operational or not; this is known as the “deployment cycle”.
Personnel might deploy as part of a formed unit deploying in numbers or, as an individual. Regardless of the type of deployment any Service Person is embarking on, support will be available to them and their family throughout the deployment cycle either internally through the Chain of Command or perhaps externally through statutory providers such as Local Authorities, Schools or through Service charities.
Deployment support provided by the Chain of Command is delivered through the Serving person’s unit. The type of support may differ depending on the nature of the deployment itself in terms of notice given, length of deployment and whether the individual is deploying as an augmentee or part of his/her unit.
For planned deployments, units may hold briefing for families to prepare them for the forthcoming deployment. Those events are arranged provide information and to provide details of the type of support that is available during the deployment. Such briefs are usually delivered by the Unit Welfare staff on behalf of the Commanding Officer who is responsible for providing deployment support to Serving Personnel and their families.
Regardless if the Serving person’s family lives local to the Unit within a Service community or lives futher afield in their own homes, support is available. It is important that a Serving Person informs the unit of how and when their family would like to be contacted in relation to a deployment including how information should be provided to help during the period of deployment.
Information is also available to all via the Army HIVE Information Service who can provide Deployment Packs. The packs contain a range of up to date and relevant information in support of deployment and are available to all Serving Personnel and their families. Contents will include details of how to keep in touch during a deployment, details of support available and can include information to support children.
For any information regarding deployment individuals should contact their Unit Welfare staff or their nearest HIVE who can either provided deployment information or signposting or referral to those who can offer support if required. Contact details can be found at be found on the HIVES pages.