Keeping in Touch & Deployment

Keeping in Touch & Deployment header image

Many parents have concerns about their children being away for an extended period of time. We understand that and know how important it is to keep in touch with loved ones.

During BMT

While in Air Force Basic Military Training, your son or daughter may need encouragement. They’ll have opportunities throughout the eight and a half weeks to phone home, receive mail from family and friends and write letters of their own. For a complete list of BMT squadron addresses, please visit Contact Your Trainee.

Attending BMT Graduation

You are welcome to witness your child’s graduation from BMT at Lackland AFB. Due to increased military security measures, a background check must be completed for all family and friends of trainees attending Air Force BMT graduation events. Prior to leaving for BMT, all recruits must complete the Visitor Access Request Letter (PDF) and hand-carry it with them. This will save training time, avoid processing delays and prevent unnecessary travel expenses for family members who are denied access to Lackland AFB.

Visitors planning to attend BMT graduation-week events are highly encouraged to purchase refundable/transferable tickets in the event they are denied access or in the event their recruit’s graduation date changes. Also, all guests 18 years old and over must have a photo ID.

Recruits do not have to request access for anyone

  • With a valid DoD card (e.g., common access card, retired military ID card); this card grants them access to the base.
  • Under the age of 18; they may enter the base when escorted by an adult who is granted access.

After BMT

Once your child graduates from BMT, it will be easier to keep in touch. The Air Force Friends and Family Instant Messaging (AFIM) service is one great way to stay connected with your son or daughter. To get started, follow these steps:

Step 1

Tell your Airman about the program if he/she is unfamiliar with it.

Step 2

Ask your Airman to enroll you in the program (you cannot register on your own). AFIM can be accessed through the Air Force portal.

No matter where your child is stationed after basic training, there’s always some form of communication available (phone, email, video chat, AFIM, etc.).


While deployments are an opportunity for your child to represent our country overseas, we understand it’s difficult to see your loved one go so far away. Every parent wants to know when and if their child will be deployed. The length of an Air Force deployment ranges from four to 12 months depending on the Airman’s specific job, location and mission requirements. There is a possibility of being deployed every 20 months.

In an effort to help ease the stress of deployments, we offer the Air Force Friends and Family Instant Messenger (AFIM) service. (See the above “After BMT” section for details.) You’ll find your Airman can stay in touch with you from virtually anywhere in the world.