Air Force's Transformation to an Expeditionary Culture
Strategy research rept.
ARMY WAR COLL CARLISLE BARRACKS PA
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Following Operation Desert Storm, the Air Force required large personnel commitments in Southwest Asia to enforce the Iraqi no-fly zones. Leadership faced developing better methods of presenting forces while fulfilling worldwide commitments. The mission was accomplished, but units were thrown together ad-hoc, deployment returns were not firm, and planning, career development, morale and readiness suffered. In response, leadership developed the Air Expeditionary Force AEF whereby units and personnel could schedule training, education, and family events such as holidays, vacations, graduations and weddings. While the AEF culture was not immediately internalized, the groundwork proved beneficial following 9-11 when events drove the Air Force to accomplish even more with less. Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom necessitated further cultural transformation whereby AEF-type processes would become second nature and Airmen would see deployed commitments as normal. Air Force senior leaders embraced the challenge of transforming to an expeditionary culture and successfully demonstrated many effective cultural embedding mechanisms to that end. Airmen have realized this new mindset as a job requirement. The Air Forces transition to an expeditionary culture is well on its way and offers a compelling case study where skillful senior leaders applying established concepts for organizational transformation affected cultural change.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics