WATCH: A new app is changing the way local military members plan their lives and keep in touch with loved ones while deployed. Ceilidh Millar reports.
Local developers are calling it a “groundbreaking” tool for Vancouver Island’s military community.
A new app, called MFRC Deployment, is helping military members and their families prepare for deployment.
“The average deployments that we see are typically around six months,” said Sandra Pinard of the Esquimalt Military Family Resource Centre (MFRC), who helped develop the content for the mobile tool.
There are more than 1,000 military members on active duty at CFB Esquimalt.
The app allows users to customize their profile based on their deployment experience.
The tool includes everything from news tips, to family planning and reminders to renew things like car insurance.
Also included is a deployment countdown clock and users can earn badges for completing service activities.
“I am ramping up for a deployment in the future,” said Petty Officer First Class Jamie Fraser. “I went through the tips and looked at what was already taken care for me and what was still outstanding.”
The team at MFRC took three years to develop the tool.
The non-profit organization provides programs and services for the local military community.
“When we developed it, we developed it under that scope that it’s for a national platform” explained Pinard.
Their next mission is to bring the app to all military personnel across the country.
“I think it’s a tremendous tool,” explained CFB Esquimalt Base Commander Capt. Jason Boyd. “We’re really excited about the launch of it. It’s the first in the country to our knowledge.”
“It’s a great way to connect the family and connect the sailors with their families when they’re deployed,” said CFB Esquimalt Base Chief, Chief Petty Officer First Class Gino Spinelli.
The free app is currently available for download in Google Play and the Apple App store.