Angela Gerrits

Marine Corps Family Team Building

Community Writer


Here at MCAS Iwakuni, we should all be very familiar with these, whether you are active duty, a family member, or a civilian, as we are all forward deployed. This forward deployment to Japan comes with unique challenges and benefits. We are in an exciting new land full of travel and cultural experiences, but also far away from the support of home. Luckily, Marine Corps Family Team Building, among other resources on base, is here to help you and yours through every step of any deployment.

The Cycle of Emotions During Deployment

Cycle of Emotions

Iwakuni sees frequent exercises, TADs, and TDYs that impact daily routines and add challenges and hardships to service members and their families. Deployments look and feel different here in Iwakuni. You may experience weeks-long and frequent TADs or exercises, but not a long term deployment. There may even be unique challenges that you have not faced before, such as your expectations of what theses separations will mean for you.

Another challenge that typically follows military families is the dreaded “Deployment Curse.” Have you heard of it? It is when the service member leaves and two days (or two hours) later the kids and pets are sick, the car won’t start, and an ID card expires… luckily, real or not, you don’t have to fear the “deployment curse” here at Iwakuni! Deployment readiness workshops and events are offered throughout the year, due to the unique operations tempo to ensure you, and your family, are always ready. Check out below to find what support is available for your situation:

Single or Unaccompanied

Always Ready and Pre-Deployment briefs can help you ensure you have all of your paperwork ready to go. You will learn more about how to prepare your family and friends back home, how to prepare Powers of Attorney and wills, and how to make plans for your personal belongings and bills.

Spouse of a Servicemember

Self-Care workshops and events are a great resource for spouses to gain some at home stress management tips and a place to network with other spouses.

Family Care Plan 101 briefs clear up confusion on the requirements of a Family Care Plan, Wills, and POAs for service members with dependents.

Reintegration workshops and Couple’s Date Nights are great opportunities to take a break from the demands of the military and focus on strengthening the most important relationship in your life.

A Parent

Pre-, Mid-, and Post- Deployment workshops are offered for both parents and kids. Parents learn typical child reactions, based on age group, to separation and how to help them adjust to changes in mom or dad’s schedule.

Our bi-annual Junior Ninja Training Day allows kids to dress up like their favorite hero character(s) and beat their deployment worries! Kids meet other kids, discover that their worries are normal, and learn how to overcome these.

For more information, to sign up to attend a workshop or event, or to schedule a brief for your unit, call 253-3754.