NORFOLK (NNS) -- The Navy recently announced all individual augmentees (IAs) serving in U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) or U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) areas of responsibility will attend Warrior Transition Program (WTP) in Sembach, Germany.
Additionally, all IAs will now attend some form of WTP, either in Germany or Norfolk.
Nestled in the Rhineland-Palatinate state of Germany lies the small Army base of Sembach. A tenant command, Expeditionary Combat Readiness Center (ECRC) Sembach Det., hosts a 3-5 day Warrior Transition Program-Third Location Decompression (WTP-TLD) program which focuses on redeploying Sailors' transitional process amid farmland and rolling hills.
Capt. Joseph Rehak, ECRC commanding officer noted, "Germany provides an ideal location for our Sailors to reflect and rejuvenate after deployments down range in support of continuing operations. I am happy to say that we are now able to provide a much needed break to Sailors redeploying from the CENTCOM and AFRICOM theaters of operations."
Senior Chief Culinary Specialist John Conniff, a redeployer from Isa Air Base, said of his experience at Sembach following deployment, "It's been very relaxing. It's nice to have the decompression downtime before returning to the states."
The aim of WTP-TLD is time for the Sailor who is not on the battlefield or on the homefront. The process is designed to assist in an IA's reintegration into life out of the theater of operations, with their families, friends, and careers. The program consists of instructional time, meeting with mental health and religious program professionals, liberty visits to towns such as Trier and Heidelberg, and individual downtime.
Rehak said, "The Warrior Transition Program provides Sailors time to reflect, learn skills, and meet partner organizations that will support in the transition from deployment to home life."
Lt. j.g. Johnny Fugit, a redeployer from afloat forward staging base-interim USS Ponce (AFSB(I) 15), said, "I found it (WTP) really beneficial. Having a few days to catch my breath and reset has been important and enjoyable."
The addition of AFRICOM redeployers, as well as seeing those from more CENTCOM sites than before, may lead to the staff at Sembach seeing a noticeable impact on operations.
Cmdr. Patrick Doyle, ECRC Sembach Det. officer in charge said, "The staff here is really dedicated to this mission and making sure that every returning Sailor has the best experience possible, even as we expect to double the number of people passing through WTP. For us, it's a wonderful chance to have a positive impact on fellow Sailors."
Following their time at WTP in Sembach, Reserve IAs will report to ECRC to complete the demobilization process before returning to their Navy Operational Support Center (NOSC). Active-duty IAs will return to their parent commands.
The Warrior Transition Program facilitates IA Sailors' reintegration process following a Global Force Management (GFM) directed deployment by providing Combat and Operational Stress Control Continuum (COSC) workshops, collecting gear and weapons, and coordinating onward movement.
ECRC provides processing, equipping, training, certification, and proactive family support to active duty for special work (ADSW) Sailors, individual augmentees, and provisional units throughout all deployment phases in support of combatant command (COCOM) requirements, contingency operations, or national crises.
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For more news from Expeditionary Combat Readiness Center, visit http://www.navy.mil/local/ecrc/.