Cell Phone on Deployed Ops

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by ParkMom, Jun 10, 2014.

  1. ParkMom

    ParkMom Member

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    Hi all. DS is heading to Qutar 3rd summer session for deployed ops. We are looking into cell phone availability while at IUD. He has a friend who went last year, but he's not sure if he'll be in contact with him before he leaves and he's going to 'ask around'. Thought I'd check with the forum brain trust :smile: and see what others have done. We are with ATT.

    Thanks!
     
  2. melindayching

    melindayching Member

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    Hi ParkMom-- I have ATT and I switched for the specific purpose of being able to get int'l service on a monthly basis as I sometimes travel afar. That being said, it hasn't been worth it for just a couple/three weeks. You can activate the service then when you come back you de-activate it. But for some reason that I can't now recall it meant my bill jumped to almost double for a month, which I then got mostly credited when I de-activated it. This may have all changed since I last tried it a year ago. But go to ATT and see about it and the service availability in Qutar as well.
    My kid is in CSLIP now in China and rather than fiddling with her cell phone service we both downloaded a "we chat" app to our IPhones and we use that function when she has wifi service. We can text without incurring fees, and if an emergency comes up she can use the phone on cost per call basis, but she hasn't had to. If there's wifi where your kid is then that might be the most cost-effective way to go. Just my own 2 cents worth.
     
  3. ParkMom

    ParkMom Member

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    We were thinking about just using wifi only, in fact, that will probably be what we will do. We'll contact ATT about their 'deployed' program, but since it's for such a short period, it doesn't seem like it would apply. We already have the chat set up on the androids :smile: Good to hear what others are doing/have done--thanks for the reply!
     
  4. Hopefull Dad

    Hopefull Dad Member

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    communication overseas

    With WI-FI, you can do OOVOO or Skype.
     
  5. Stealth_81

    Stealth_81 Super Moderator Moderator Founding Member

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    Son did Deployed Ops to Al Udeid in Qatar in the summer of 2010. He has an iPhone and he said he never really needed cell service there. There is Wi-Fi on base for messaging and the only trip they took off base was to Doha and the beach for one day. He took a lot of pictures on the phone and posted them when he got back to base. There is an area with computers for everyone's use if they want, also.

    Stealth_81
     
  6. Usafamom2017

    Usafamom2017 New Member

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    If you both have iPhones/iPads you can also FaceTime on WiFi. This is what we did when my daughter studied abroad last year. Only she had to be on WiFi.
     
  7. Stealth_81

    Stealth_81 Super Moderator Moderator Founding Member

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    I just got a text from Son #1 in Florida (he does read these forums once in a while). He said: "They don't need a phone. Use email or Facebook. Then just hang out at the pool."

    Stealth_81
     
  8. trackandfield08

    trackandfield08 USCGA 2014

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    Two other apps that work well internationally are Viber and WhatsApp, both allow you to text anyone else that has the app as long as wifi is available but Viber lets you call people as well. It worked well for me when I was in Italy a few months ago and it has been an awesome way to keep in touch with friends who were international cadets.
     
  9. ParkMom

    ParkMom Member

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    Thanks everyone!

    Heh, I knew this was the place to get the answers! I wasn't crazy about the android app we used last month (don't remember what it was) so I might give these other ones a try (we're not an apple family :smile: )

    I'll also remind him to pack a swimsuit!
     
  10. Usafamom2016

    Usafamom2016 Member

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    My kids went to Israel for winter break last year. They used iphones on Wifi only and messaged me fine. That is the best way to communicate with them anyway!
     
  11. EagleDriver

    EagleDriver Member

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    :thumb:

    As a International Airline Pilot...I use LINE app to call or text home...just need wifi....my DS is in Japan for 1st summer session and we communicate frequently using LINE app...its free..:thumb:
     
  12. Marine75-78

    Marine75-78 Member

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    Son is in Qatar currently, and has been to Kuwait and other places in the sand box over the past two years. We both have I-Phones, and there has never been a problem connecting as long as there is WIFI.

    Your son may want to make sure he has a Fan....:rolleyes:

    It was 117 degrees the other day.

    The C-17 is air conditioned. :cool:
     
  13. Cannonball

    Cannonball Member

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    Wait. So AFA cadets get to go places like Quatar and Israel for summer programs? I thought I read on here that they only went to US bases.
     
  14. ParkMom

    ParkMom Member

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    A Fan! I know, one of the personal little ones, that squirt water when they run....that'll go over well :wink:

    Cannonball, I've heard of cadets heading to Italy, China, Japan, Quatar and England. I've also heard of cadets heading to Minot, Ellsworth, Andrews, Fairchild and Hickam to name a few. My DS requested a foreign deployment but I'm not sure how competitive those are. The middle east in July/August would not be on my personal bucket list... :biggrin: but he is very excited.
     
  15. BlahuKahuna

    BlahuKahuna Member

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    I don't think the program to Israel that was mentioned was an official Academy program, but there are a few main ways to get overseas travel from the Academy as a cadet:

    1.Deployed ops. Instead of a 3 week program at an American base, it's a 6 week program cadets apply for during their 3 degree year. That's where you're hearing Qatar, UAE, etc. As far as I know, Civil Engineering majors get to do ops for the regular length at overseas bases as well. I have some friends in Korea right now.

    2.CSLIP (language immersion) is a 3 week program for rising 2-digs and firsties taking foreign languages. It's fairly competitive but a really neat experience with host families. There are also cultural immersion programs that don't require knowledge of the language. I know someone who did go to Israel through this program.

    3.Semesters abroad are most typically seen first semester firstie year, and cadets have to be pretty dang good at their language to get into these programs. You'll see a mix of cadets going to civilian and military schools for the semester.

    There are a handful of other chances for travel that come up, so especially if you minor in a language, the opportunities are there. Sometimes the foreign language department will get the funding to take a few cadets OCONUS for a few days, especially if cadets write the proposal...
     
  16. USAFretired1996

    USAFretired1996 Member

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    My son’s friends got Mildenhall and Hickam. The current Hickam group got cancelled and diverted here to Langley where they got T-38 incentive rides this week. My son is going to Offutt so his incentive ride will probably be a RC-135 ride around the Nebraska cornfields.
     
  17. Blue&SilverBear

    Blue&SilverBear USAFA Alumnus

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    I was fortunate to get to go overseas four times as a cadet, all in different programs. Here is what I got to do...

    Operation: Air Force: I went to Spangdahlem AB, Germany for three weeks in the summer between my 3* and 2* years. This was the standard "ops" program that everyone went through, and I shadowed OSI, JAG, and comm. They gave us three or four day weekends both weekends that we were there, and I was able to take the train to Luxembourg, Belgium, and Holland in my free time. We didn't get to put preferences at that time, but as a general trend it seemed like the "better" bases went to people with higher class ranks. I didn't have cell service for this trip and never needed it.

    Olmstead Foundation Cultural Immersion Trip: I got the chance to go to Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand over two weeks in the summer between my 2* and Firstie years. Getting selected for a trip like this was totally dependent on making a relationship with an instructor that was planning on putting in an application with the academic department and the Olmstead Foundation for funding for a trip. After a trip to Africa had fallen through the previous summer, a professor in the Poli Sci department was able to work this one out for a group of four of us that he had taught during our 3* years. It was basically a tourist trip, and we went with 2 AFROTC cadets, USMA cadets and USNA midshipmen. I think I had international service on my cell phone for this trip, but I always used internet cafes instead. My phone was stolen out of my luggage in Cambodia, so I definitely didn't use it after that!

    Deployed Ops: I applied and was selected for Deployed Ops the summer between my 2* and Firstie years as well. Between that trip and my Olmstead trip I had a grand total of 5 days of leave that summer, but it was definitely worth it. I knew I was going to be a contracting officer, and I spent 21 days with the Expeditionary Contracting Squadron at Ali Al Salem AB, Kuwait. The other 11 days of the trip were spent traveling or waiting for airlift at Al Udeid AB, Qatar. This trip was an unbelievable experience, as I actually got to work directly supporting the base and troops in Iraq. We were there long enough that everyone earned the Global War on Terror Expeditionary Service Medal, and that month was definitely one of the most rewarding experiences that I've had in my 4 years as a cadet or my 5 years of active duty time. There were plenty of morale phones on base and I definitely didn't need cell service.

    Spring Break Language Immersion: I spent spring break of my Firstie year at the Escuela Militar de Aeronáutica in Uruguay, or the Uruguayan Air Force Academy. An email came out at some point in the school year asking for applications for Thanksgiving and Spring Break language trips. I had taken two years of Spanish, but I wasn't even in a Spanish class at the time that I got to go on the trip. Four cadets were selected and the Uruguayans basically treated us like royalty. We stayed in their dorms, and they flew us around the country in their Air Force's planes. We went to the beach, a "discoteca," and ate a lot of great food. We also got to take two "day trips" in Buenos Aires, Argentina when we had long layovers and I think it was one of my favorite major cities that I have seen around the world. I didn't even think about my cell phone on this trip.


    That was probably way too long, but the overseas opportunities were one of the best things about USAFA for me and I love talking about all the places that I got to go!
     

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