Support the Combatant Commander, Develop the Force, or Roll the Dice? What the Air Force's Deployment Tasking Process Doesn't Do
AIR UNIV MAXWELL AFB AL SCHOOL OF ADVANCED AIR AND SPACE STUDIES
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Over the last 10 years, Airmen have routinely waked up in a foreign land wondering, Why am I here One aspect of this question relates to the Air Forces current personnel deployment system. Most Airmen are well versed in the timing of their deployment cycle, but the method of selecting an individual for a specific deployment tasking remains a mystery. In some ways, the process is more akin to rolling dice than following a deliberate procedure. In truth, understanding the system may not offer much comfort. The Air Forces current personnel deployment mechanism ignores two major discriminators in assigning an Airman to a tasking. First, the system rarely considers any unique qualifications an individual possesses. Second, it fails to take into account the effect of a tasking on an Airmans professional development. Thus the Air Force deprives itself of any special expertise that its personnel could bring to the current fight and misses an opportunity to prepare them for the future, largely due to the timing of the steps in the process and an overemphasis on minimum requirements. Recently, the Air Force announced an initiative to convert its air and space expeditionary force AEF deployment system to a new construct known as AEF Next, which will focus on teaming, at the unit and installation level as well as put commanders and immediate supervisors back into the deployment decision process. Furthermore, this initiative creates an opportunity to improve the areas discussed in this article, which primarily apply to joint expeditionary taskings JET and individual augmentees IA--the two of them making up 17 of all Airmen tasked in AEF 910.
- Personnel Management and Labor Relations