NORFOLK (NNS) -- Navy Individual Augmentees (IAs) redeploying from the U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM) area of responsibility will soon get home to their families in a more predictable manner because of a new dedicated, weekly flight beginning May 1.
This change greatly improves the Navy's ability to transport redeploying IA Sailors from the Warrior Transition Program (WTP) in Kuwait, to the four primary Navy Mobilization and Processing Sites (NMPS) in Norfolk, San Diego, Gulfport, Miss., and Port Hueneme, Calif., on the same day.
Currently, IAs may arrive at NMPSs on days when personnel support detachments are closed and healthcare clinics are minimally manned, or at times when many Sailors are deploying and the facility can't support the simultaneous processing of so many personnel.
"Our Sailors and their families count on us to provide them with the support they need while they are deployed on these unique missions, which is why it is absolutely critical that we remain fully committed to improving the IA experience," said Adm. John C. Harvey, Jr., commander, U.S. Fleet Forces (USFF). "This improved transportation process brings our Sailors home to their families in a much more predictable and less burdensome manner making it a great step forward."
Harvey, the executive agent of the IA Continuum, visited key IA movement staging areas in November. Following his visit, he directed NMPS officers-in-charge to do the same, in order to provide these leaders with a "boots on ground" perspective on IA issues.
In January, officers from NMPS, USFF, Navy Personnel Command, and Navy Installations Command visited WTP and Reception, Staging, Onward Movement and Integration (RSO&I) in Kuwait. They identified immediate ways to provide better care and support to deploying and redeploying IAs, such as standardizing the redeployment timeline.
To implement the dedicated IA flight, USFF worked with U.S. Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM), which manages all logistical air transportation for returning IAs. USTRANSCOM altered an existing aircraft utilization contract to provide the weekly flight at no additional expense to the Navy or Department of Defense.
Other organizations that collaborated on this transportation change were Navy Operational Logistics Support Command, USCENTCOM, Commercial Air Charter Carriers, Patriot Express Flight, and Kuwait International and Baltimore-Washington International airports.
For more information on Navy Individual Augmentees, visit http://www.ia.navy.mil/.
For more news from U.S. Fleet Forces Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/clf/.