As I mentioned last time, the first stop for an Individual Augmentee (IA) is one of the Navy Mobilization Processing Sites (NMPS). There are several located around the country, and I spent a week at the NMPS in San Diego.
A lot happens during the week, but it's all centered around the idea of insuring that an IA is fit for duty, especially in the medical/dental/physical realm. The last thing the Navy wants is to spend a lot of time and money to send a Sailor around the world, but have that Sailor not be productive because of some health issue. But if you come to NMPS in good health (as I am), with all your current immunizations (as I did), then it's a lot of down time (which I had).
In addition, you get your first big gear issue. The military is constantly changing and upgrading the quality of gear it issues, so if you are going somewhere you have never been, or maybe with a Branch of the military you've never worked with before, you'll wind up getting A.LOT.OF.STUFF.
Since I'll be working primarily with the Army, I traded in my Navy uniforms for the new Army Combat Uniform (ACU). Of course, I'll still proudly wear a "U.S. Navy" label across the front.
|My first gear issue of this Mobilization. More gear to follow....|
Luckily, I have some good friends in the San Diego area, in addition to Derek Jacobsen, so I had plenty to occupy my time. I even scored some tickets to a San Diego Padres home game and managed to sit in the "Mayor's Suite".
After a trip to NMPS, the Individual Augmentee usually travels to an additional training site before heading to their ultimate Duty Station. Most Navy servicemembers go to Ft. Jackson (SC) for a 3-week "introductory" training to the Army, but I'm headed to Ft. Dix (NJ) for a 30-day Combat Skills Training course before heading to Afghanistan. The pace is sure to pick up from here on out, and now that we have these introductory blogs out of the way, stay tuned for more excitement.