NORFOLK (NNS) -- Navy Individual Augmentees (IA), active and Reserve, do not simply receive their orders and deploy to far away locales at a moment's notice; there's much to do before a Sailor is able to put boots on ground.
Once a Sailor receives their IA orders, they must read them closely because they contain information regarding the Pre-Deployment Health Assessment (DD 2795), Expeditionary Screening Checklists (ESC) (NAVPERS 1300/22) (administrative and medical/dental) (NAVMED 1300/4), Isolated Personnel Report (ISOPREP) requirements, and information concerning their Navy Mobilization and Processing Site (NMPS).
Sailors will either process through NMPS in Norfolk Va. or San Diego Calif. to complete their pre-deployment screenings and requirements. NMPS will verify that all required items listed in your orders and on the Expeditionary Screening Checklist were completed, Navy Knowledge Online (NKO) e-learning courses were completed, all medical and dental screenings are satisfactory (including vaccinations), and that your security clearance is up to date. In addition, NMPS will issue your mission-specific IA uniforms.
"I encourage Sailors to be proactive when completing the Expeditionary Screening Checklist because it will help their processing time through NMPS go a lot smoother," said Cmdr. Sam Scafe, NMPS Norfolk officer in charge.
Deploying IA Sailors spend a week at NMPS attending informational briefings and completing medical/dental screenings, just to name a few things, in order to ensure IA Sailors are 100 percent ready to deploy and execute their missions.
"The NMPS process is an imperative step in the IA process because they prepare us on all of the "other" issues, i.e. pay, Tricare, and self-care so that we can focus on the final mission," said Personnel Specialist 1st Class Misty Parker, a mobilized Reservist with Expeditionary Combat Readiness Center. "Every Sailor is unique, and NMPS has proven time and time again to be fully capable of preparing us all individually, so we can perform as a team on our missions," said Parker.
With so many Sailors processing through NMPS Norfolk on a regular basis, Yeoman 2nd Class Ryan Richardson, NMPS Norfolk leading petty officer and site manager of the Deployment Department, is committed to making the NMPS process painless.
"Time is precious at NMPS, so all of their days are filled with things to do because the last thing we want to do is waste their time," said Richardson. "Our goal is to provide great customer service to those going forward because we want them to leave here on a positive note knowing that we truly appreciate their service and the sacrifices they are making to fulfill this obligation for the Navy," he said.
With all the hustle and bustle of NMPS Norfolk and pre-deployment anxiety, Chief Information Systems Technician (SW) Michael Lewis, a mobilized Reservist from Navy Operational Support Center (NOSC) Norfolk, was nervous initially; that all soon faded when he arrived at NMPS.
"When we checked in the first day we got a folder filled with paper, and the daily schedule attached to the outside of it, which was nice because it really took the edge off of a lot of the nervousness I had in regards to the week," said Lewis.
Customer service is a big piece of the NMPS Norfolk puzzle, and has a lasting impact on those that process through there.
"The customer service I have received with NMPS Norfolk has been exceptional both times," said Parker. "It is their mission to prepare IA's for deployment and they have succeeded with me when I deployed to the Horn of Africa and Kuwait. As a reservist that has mobilized and processed through NMPS Norfolk several times,
they have proven to be prepared and informed on my own unique situations, which I appreciate a great deal," she said.
The primary focus for the 24 enlisted Sailors and four officers at NMPS is to ensure every IA Sailor is deployment ready, but the second requirement is to treat everyone like they are a part of the NMPS family.
"We do our best to make the IAs feel welcome because the less stress they have prior to deployment the better," said Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Jonathan Kight, NMPS medical department. "Sometimes all it takes is letting them know that I have been where they are, and we're going to take good care of them. I also like to remind them that NMPS is going to be more fun than they expect because they are going to meet friends that will last a lifetime," said Kight.
Equipped with new friendships and tools for a successful IA assignment, IA Sailors depart NMPS for additional training opportunities or to their IA assignment.
The NMPS process does not end there because they are also responsible for processing IAs returning from deployment. The process is slightly different upon return for active duty and Reservists.
"Active duty Sailors can process through here in about four hours, while Reservists are here for a week or two to de-mobilize off of active duty," said Scafe.
The focus upon return is the same as when they initially arrived at NMPS.
"Our goal is to make the re-deployment process as painless as possible so we can get them on their way to their families and parent commands or NOSC," said Richardson.
Cryptologic Technician (Interpretive) 1st Class Jose Manuel Cunha, a mobilized Reservist who was deployed to Naples Italy, is thankful that Sailors have to process through NMPS before returning home.
"It's better than having nothing in place for IAs returning from deployment," said Cunha. "This way I know when I de-mobilize and head back to NOSC Manchester, I won't have to worry about deployment stuff because NMPS Norfolk took good care of me."
NMPS Norfolk provides integrated IA processing for active duty and Navy Reserve members deploying/redeploying in support of combatant command IA/ Integrated Logistics Overhauls requirements, contingency operations or national crisis.
For more information about NMPS Norfolk, visit http://www.cnic.navy.mil/cnrma.
For more news from Expeditionary Combat Readiness Center, visit www.navy.mil/local/ecrc/.