VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Navy Expeditionary Combat Command sailors, family and civilians participated in a Reintegration Training Workshop at the Virginia Beach Resort and Conference Center, Sept. 23-25.
The NECC reintegration training workshop bridges the gap between redeployment transition education delivered at Third Location Decompression, the Warrior Transition Program and pre-deployment training.
“When sailors come home from deployment they receive TLD and WTP and those programs do a great job at preparing our sailors to go from the deployment battle space back to their families and communities,” said Capt. Lori Laraway, NECC warfighter resilience program manager. “But what was missing out of our Fleet Response Training Plan [FRTP] training cycle was anything specifically addressing reintegration.”
The goal of reintegration is to return service members to their previous levels of function and well-being, often after prolonged stressful conditions of separation from family and combat or high optempo situations.
Reintegration is often a positive series of events, including reunions with family and friends and a return to one’s pre-deployment life, but it also may be a time of personal struggle for service members.
“Once a sailor gets past that honeymoon stage of coming home where everything is great, and begins the next cycle of pre-deployment training and maintenance; that’s often when the issues and challenges start to arise,” said Laraway. “Relationships may not be as you thought, and communication problems may develop. That’s why this program was designed, to close the gap in the FRTP.”
Topics discussed during the workshop included common reintegration challenges as well as psychological, social, spiritual and physical fitness, along with small group discussions led by trained facilitators.
“We’re teaching reintegration lessons, but these are also life lessons that sailors can use,” said Master Chief Constructionman James Odom, NECC reserve mobilization manager. “There’s a set of skills that can be learned to help them cope, assist, and thrive in a post deployment environment.”
During the workshop, attendees watched the play “ReEntry,” which is based on thousands of interviews conducted with Marines preparing for and returning from deployment.
“The play really brought home some of the things that I have experienced personally and some of the things my sailors have experienced,” said Master Chief Constructionman Calvin Foster, assigned to U.S Fleet Forces Command. “It also gives a different view of the people back home, and how they dealt with situations,” said Foster “Although the play was Marine-centric it did apply to just about anyone in combat. Even sailors that do not go into combat zones will still have some of the same re-entry issues.”
Reintegration is closely related to the military process known as resilience which refers to actions and attitudes that prepare individuals and groups to adapt to challenging situations.
“NECC is getting it right with this training workshop, when it comes down to resilience for our sailors and our families,” said Chief Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mica Greenwood, NECC explosive ordnance disposal force motivator. “[This training is helpful] when it comes to dealing with issues that actually come from deployments and reintegration.”
NECC is an enduring force providing capability across the full range of military operations in the maritime strategy to include forward presence, maritime security and power projection. NECC
commands numerous organizations with unique expeditionary capability. They include the Naval Construction Forces also known as Seabees, Coastal Riverine Forces (CORIVFOR), Navy Expeditionary Logistics Support Group (NAVELSG), Navy Expeditionary Intelligence Command, Maritime Civil Affairs and Security Training Command, and Explosive Ordnance Disposal.