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Aerospace Expeditionary Force (AEF)
Air and Space Expeditionary Task Force (ASETF)
(Formerly Air Expeditionary Force)

The Air Force is moving into the 21st century as an expeditionary aerospace force. And at the core of these efforts to move ahead are the air expeditionary forces -- the AEFs, which were implemented by 01 January 2000. This new concept is one way of responding to the increasing number of contingencies that call for worldwide deployments. It attempts to answer a need for "predictability" by reducing OPTEMPO and enhance readiness.

Air Expeditionary Force packages allow the Air Force to present forces in a consistent manner and conduct military operations across the spectrum of conflict. Throughout the late 1990s, the AEF concept of operations was proven itself time and again. Even with the high demands of Operations ENDURING FREEDOM and IRAQI FREEDOM, the AEFs surged to support the Combatant Commanders' warfighting and deterrence missions, employing nearly eight AEFs of combat forces.

On Sept. 15, 2004, the deployment-length to the AEF cycle was changed to 120 days every 20 months. The new schedule was meant to offer greater stability for commanders and a reduction in transportation requirements with Airmen swapping out three times instead of four during the year


The Air Force is moving into the 21st century as an expeditionary aerospace force. And at the core of these efforts to move ahead are the air expeditionary forces -- the AEFs, which were implemented by 01 January 2000. This new concept is one way of responding to the increasing number of contingencies that call for worldwide deployments. It attempts to answer a need for "predictability" by reducing OPTEMPO and enhance readiness.

Before the implementation of EAF, the Air Force was sized for major theater war but tasked to perform small-scale contingencies. This mismatch between configuration and mission resulted in shortfalls in some capabilities, which in turn led to an excessive operations tempo for people in some career fields. With EAF, the Air Force will be able to better manage its resources in order to spread the operations tempo more evenly and achieve more predictability in deployments. Active-duty people will no longer have to wonder if the family vacation they are planning will have to be cancelled because of a no-notice deployment.

Except for a major surge operation, airmen will be either on call or deployed for 90 days every 15 months, and they will know about the 90-day period well in advance. They will spend the remaining 12 months of the EAF cycle doing routine activities: conducting training, participating in exercises, working on their civilian or military education and spending time with their families. The same holds true for reservists. EAF promises more predictability than the deployment schedules of the past. Each unit will know its 90-day vulnerability period months in advance, making it easier to coordinate duty requirements with civilian employers.

The United States Air Force organized the majority of its Total Force into ten Aerospace Expeditionary Forces (AEFs); two dedicated on-call Aerospace Expeditionary Wings (AEWs); five Lead Mobility Wings (LMWs); and required Air Operations Center (AOC) and Air Force Forces (AFFOR) Command and Control (C2) elements.

Under the AEF concept almost all of the Air Force - active, Reserve and Guard -- was divided into 10 force packages, each with a cross-section of Air Force weapon systems drawn from geographically separated units. Each AEF will have about 150-175 aircraft and 15,000 people, and each will be more formidable than the air forces of most nations. These AEF packages will be able to respond within 72 hours of any unexpected contingency -- and will be trained and tailored to meet commanders' needs in a wide range of contingency operations. Each AEF will be on call to handle contingency operations for about 90 days every 15 months. And two will be on call at all times. About half of each AEF to wait on call at home bases during the 90-day window and about half to deploy.

Notional AEF
Forward Deployed Capabilities On Call
18 x F-15C Air-to-Air 6
10 x F-15E PGM 14
8 x F-16CJ SEAD 10
12 x A-10 (6 Units) Anti-Armor/CAS 14 (ANG)*
3 x E-3 Surveillance/C2 0
3 x HH-60 CSAR 9
8 x C-130 (2 Units) Intra-Theater 10 (ANG)*
4 x KC-10 Air Refueling 2
3 x KC-135 (2 Units) Air Refueling 7 (AFRC)*
3 x KC-135 (2 Units) Air Refueling 7 (ANG)*
3 x C-21A Transportation 6
0 x B-52/B-1 CALCM/SA 6
0 x B-2 Stealth 3
0 x F-117 Stealth 6
High Demand/Low Density Assets Tasked A/R
E-3, E-8, U-2, EC-130, RC-135, CSAR, Ground Systems (GTACS)
* Additional aircraft may be available with Presidential Selective

In addition to the AEFs and AEWs, the AEF includes strategic "enabler" or common user assets, such as long-range mobility and space forces, that will provide support to authorized organizations within and outside of the Department of Defense (DOD), including Air Force movements of AEF forces. Additionally, the Air Force's Low Density/High Demand (LD/HD) assets (U2, E-8 JSTARS, E-3 AWACS, RC-135 RIVET JOINT, SOF, CSAR, etc.), play critical roles in AEF/AEW operations, subject to the governing directives of the Global Military Force Policy (GMFP).

The AEFs help build predictability and stability into the way the Air Force schedules its people to respond to contingencies, both large and small. They are designed as a direct response to increasing concerns about the high operations tempo under which today's Air Force operates. The AEF should lead to a substantial reduction in operation tempo -- and back-to-back Christmas deployments should be a thing of the past. The AEFs take full advantage of the contributions made by the Total Air Force-Active, Guard and Reserve-by integrating all the Air components into cohesive deployable force packages. Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve personnel work a full-time job in civilian life and a part-time job with the Air Force. The AEF schedules all facets of the each AEF one to two years in advance, so employers can have early notice of when their citizen airmen will be going back into uniform.

Most low density/high demand (LD/HD) assets, as defined in GMFP, are not formally assigned to individual AEFs, but are aligned with deployment cycles in order to enhance deployment predictability. Deployment levels must be consistent with GMFP guidelines. Space, inter-theater airlift, and Global Reach Laydown (GRL) forces normally will not be assigned to AEFs. Air refueling forces and medium-range airlift forces (currently consisting of C-130 units) will be assigned to AEFs and enabler operations, subject to careful scheduling to avoid overtasking.

The 15-month AEF life cycle includes periods of normal training, preparation, and on-call/deployment eligibility. The approximately 10-month normal training period concentrates on unit missions and basic proficiency events, IAW applicable Air Force directives and Air Force Specialty Code requirements, and may include Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), Air Force or MAJCOM exercise participation. The 2-month deployment preparation period focuses unit activities on area of responsibility (AOR) specific events required (if known) for the 90-day on-call/deployment eligibility period which follows. Following the deployment or on-call period, units will enter into a MAJCOM-defined recovery period.

The Air Force will meet its day-to-day steady-state and deployed operational commitments with forces assigned to the two scheduled AEFs, one on-call AEW, and available enabler forces. Any substantial or sustained commitment of forces beyond this level will constitute a surge for the Air Force, which will require some degree of reconstitution of the involved forces after the surge ends. The steady-state commitment of two AEFs, one AEW, and available enabler forces will be sustainable over time, provided the Air Force can maintain appropriate levels of personnel and materiel in the force.

Transition to Surge Operations begins when requirements begin to exceed the capabilities of the two AEFs and the on-call AEW. This point is known as the surge trigger point - the time at which the USAF begins to exceed its sustainable level and must use forces outside the scheduled AEFs in order to meet mission requirements. Established parameters for the day-to-day steady state AEF schedule, including limiting TEMPO to one 90-day deployment eligibility period in 15 months, are broken for the duration of surge operations.

At the surge trigger point, the Air Force must also begin the planning for the reconstitution of the force and transition plan that will return the force back to the pre-surge level of activity. In cases of significant surges, reconstitution will include reduced commitment levels and operations by reconstituting forces, to allow them the time and resources needed to recover their readiness levels and prepare for future deployments. During a surge, Air Force and Joint leaders may reduce the likely reconstitution impact by selectively disengaging Air Force forces from other operations, requesting selective recalls of reserve forces, and activation of STOP-LOSS procedures for active forces.

According to a Sept 16, 2004 AFPN story, the AEF concept was still open to modifications. According to the story, prior to the AEF construct, deployments were made according to a sort of "bidding" system, with people volunteering to fill slots in operations Northern Watch and Southern Watch. With time, however, that system stopped working because of the lack of predictability involved. This problem was compounded with the events of Sept. 11, 2001, when a surge in requirements during operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom resulted in the Air Force using Airmen from almost every AEF pair to fulfill requirements. Adjustments were made to the AEF system as a result though there still was more to be done. This involves not only adjusting the AEF, but also adjusting training and other programs to better support an expeditionary force, including professional military education.

AEF Cycle 1

Each aerospace expeditionary force has a "lead" wing that provides contingency leadership. The lead wings provide commanders, if tasked to provide group- or wing-level leadership to a new deployed location.

  • AEF 1: 388th Fighter Wing, Hill AFB, Utah
  • AEF 2: 7th Bomb Wing, Dyess AFB, Texas
  • AEF 3: 3rd Wing, Elmendorf AFB, Alaska
  • AEF 4: 48th Fighter Wing, RAF Lakenheath, United Kingdom
  • AEF 5: 355th Wing, Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz.
  • AEF 6: 20th Fighter Wing, Shaw AFB, S.C.
  • AEF 7: 2nd Bomb Wing, Barksdale AFB, La.
  • AEF 8: 28th Bomb Wing, Ellsworth AFB, S.D.
  • AEF 9: 27th Fighter Wing, Cannon AFB, N.M.
  • AEF 10: 1st Fighter Wing, Langley AFB, Va.

AEFs 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9 support Southern Watch activities in Southwest Asia, while AEFs 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10 are earmarked for Operation Northern Watch in the European Theater.

On 01 October 1999 AEFs 1 and 2 activated and began fulfilling contingency requirements (e.g., Operations Southern and Northern Watch); 4th Fighter Wing, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C., began 60-day on-call period to handle any "pop-up" emergency. In December 1999 366th Wing, Mountain Home AFB, Idaho, took over for the 4th Fighter Wing; units of AEFs 3 and 4 began swapping out for a 90-day period, the standard deployment eligibility cycle.

Five wings provided "on call" mobility operations for responding to humanitarian relief operations, disaster responses and noncombatant evacuation operations from hostile areas. The mobility wings:

  • AEF 1/2: 43rd Airlift Wing, Pope AFB, N.C.
  • AEF 3/4: 60th Air Mobility Wing, Travis AFB, Calif.
  • AEF 5/6: 22nd Air Refueling Wing, McConnell AFB, Kan.
  • AEF 7/8: 319th Air Refueling Wing, Grand Forks AFB, N.D.
  • AEF 9/10: 92nd Air Refueling Wing, Fairchild AFB, Wash

Until the aerospace expeditionary forces firmly established themselves, two on-call wings provided rapid global response. They share the responsibilities and respond within 48 hours to meet unplanned "pop-up" contingencies. These wings will alternate on a 60-day schedule:

  • 366th Wing, Mountain Home AFB, Idaho;
  • 4th Fighter Wing, Seymour Johnson AFB.

The baseline schedules each of the 10 AEFs for one 90-day contingency on-call/deployment eligibility period every 15 months. Each of the two dedicated on-call AEWs alternate on 90-day on-call periods. As the EAF concept evolves, the on-call AEWs were to be absorbed into the baseline ten AEF structure.

The first full cycle of Aerospace Expeditionary Force ended on Dec. 1, 2000, which marked the start of Cycle 2 of the 15-month AEF. Experiences during Cycle 1 generated refinements to the AEF process that will make the second cycle even more successful than the first. The pool of eligible people participating in AEF deployments grew from 89,000 to more than 122,000. Nearly 6,000 additional expeditionary combat support positions were allocated from fiscal 2000 through 2002. Also, more right-sized unit type codes at more bases were created to help share the burden. The mechanism that identifies stressed units and career fields has been refined, and operational tempo decreases in F-16CJs, F-15Es, ABCCCs, KC-135s, B-52s and U-2s were realized. The long-term predictability of the AEF schedule allowed the Air Guard and Reserve components to participate in a significant percentage of AEF aviation taskings in Cycle 1 and helped reduce airlift requirement by 22 percent. Some systems, such as the RC-135 and a few other low density/high demand assets, displayed that full spectrum continuous engagement is more demanding for some than the requirements associated with fighting two nearly-simultaneous major theater wars. Solving the shortfall is a complicated mix of curbing the insatiable collection appetite, modernization and recapitalization - we will continue to work all these problems aggressively.

AEF Cycle 2

AEF officials noticed in cycle 2 that the current unit type codes - positions grouped together to provide specific warfighting capabilities - were designed to meet the nation's strategy of being able to fight two major theater wars at the same time. They were all very large UTCs, in contrast to the much smaller needs of ongoing requirements like operations Southern Watch and Northern Watch. So UTCs are being redesigned to reflect the demands of the current world environment. The redesign effort focuses on building modular, scalable UTCs that allow force providers to respond to the full spectrum of military operations. With smaller, scalable UTCs, many of the teams deploying for AEF Cycle 3 will come from a single base, rather than individual members deploying from many bases.

Aerospace Expeditionary Force Center officials worked in 2001 to expand the number of people in the AEF library who are available to deploy from 120,000 to 200,000 airmen. This left a larger number of people to choose from, reducing the impact on individuals and bases. The effort to expand the AEF library will make it easier for the Air Force to support joint exercises out of the library. Once the 200,000 goal was reached, the AEF will be able to source large-scale overseas exercises, such as the biennial exercise Bright Star, from the AEF libraries.

Security forces deployments highlight one example of the benefits of this change. Previously, security forces would deploy for about 70 days for Bright Star during their training cycle and then turn around and have to deploy to the desert when they were in their AEF window. This blew their personnel tempo goals out the window.

Air Mobility Command announced 06 November 2001 that it will reduce the number of its lead mobility wings from five to two. The new structure will begin with Aerospace Expeditionary Cycle 3 in March 2002. The natural evolution of the lead mobility wing structure, which was introduced by then-Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Michael E. Ryan in March 1999. The two new lead mobility wings are the 60th Air Mobility Wing at Travis AFB, Calif., and the 305th AMW at McGuire AFB, N.J. The original five wings were the 43rd Airlift Wing, Pope AFB, N.C.; 60th AMW, Travis; 22nd Air Refueling Wing, McConnell AFB, Kan.; 319th ARW, Grand Forks AFB, N.D.; and 92nd ARW, Fairchild AFB, Wash. Along with the wing's primary mobility mission, a lead mobility wing provides mobility leadership for an AEF and a 33-member initial response team for humanitarian relief operations, disaster response, and contingencies. One reason for the selection of Travis and McGuire as the lead mobility wings was to link them with existing Air Mobility Operations Groups-the 615th AMOG at Travis and the 621st AMOG at McGuire.

Following the September 11th terrorist attacks the Air Force determined that by themselves, the organic resources of the two on-call AEFs were not sufficient to support resource requirements for Operation Enduring Freedom and still accommodate the desired three-month rotation of personnel. However, the Aerospace Expeditionary Force Center used its "reach forward" concept to meet manning requirements in several stressed career fields: security forces, supply, munitions, communications and computer systems, services, fuels, civil engineers, intelligence, and medical services. As a result, most airmen deployed for only the AEF designed three-month period. Balancing manpower to fill deployment tasking required some tour-length increases to 135 days to 179 days to stay within the AEF construct and still reduce the adverse impact to units and individuals. For AEFs 7 and 8, none of 15,257 steady state deployed were extended; AEF 9 and 10 steady state airmen replaced them on schedule. Approximately 7,000 crisis-deployed airmen from AEFs 7 and 8 served extended tour lengths (up to 179 days depending on when they were deployed). For AEFs 9 and 10, 1,077 of 25,600 deployed airmen (4.2 percent were extended to 135-day or 179-day tours. The ANG participation in AEF 9/10 included 1,500 deployed personnel. An additional 320 Guard personnel filled active duty positions.

AEF Cycle 3

With the Cycle 3 kick off in March 2002, there were many pressing challenges ahead. Getting the UTCs sized correctly and expanding the AEF library are top priorities. The Air Force wanted to eventually get the AEF into a repeating rhythm of activity. The Air Force wanted to continue to improve quality of life, enhance retention efforts and make deployments better for airmen.

The 2001 redesign effort focused on building modular, scalable UTCs that allow force providers to respond to the full spectrum of military operations. With smaller, scalable UTCs, many of the teams deploying for AEF Cycle 3 will come from a single base, rather than individual members deploying from many bases. Deployment taskings for a large Air Force wing were spread across all 10 AEFs that make up a cycle. A base like Langley would have people on the road all the time. But the goal is to tap a wing hard once, and then not so hard during a second on-call period. This will keep bases such as Langley and Shaw from being deployed all the time.

As the Air Force changed from the peanut butter-type spread to the cycle 3 teaming concept, some people who were in AEF 5 and 6 were moved into AEF 7 and 8, or AEF 9 and 10. So there was a short-term impact on predictability and stability.

The Air Force Chief of Staff directed a return to the three-month rotational concept of operations (CONOPS) to the greatest extent possible for AEFs 1 and 2, Cycle 3. For AEFs 1 and 2, only 648 (about 3.1 percent) deployed beyond 90 days. The ANG participation in AEF 1/2 included 2,000 deployed personnel. An additional 180 Guard personnel filled active duty positions. For AEFs 3 and 4, the extended tour lengths in July 2002 were at 1,286 almost 80 percent complete. Extended tour lengths have increased significantly from AEFs 1 and 2 dur to Air Reserve Component demobilization and will continue to increase as the AEFC completes sourcing for the AEFs 5 and 6 rotation. At July 2002 levels of contingency tasking, the AEF construct was meeting both combatant commander force requirements and the three-month deployment guideline for most airmen.

AEF Blue/Silver

AEF Silver and AEF Blue were cycles implemented by USAF HQ in July 2003 to get the regular deployment cycles back on track following OIF. AEF Blue kicked off in July changing the rotation from 90 days to 120 days. AEF Blue ran from July through October and AEF Silver rotation begins in November and ends in mid-March 2004.

When AEF Silver ends in mid-March 2004, the AEF system will return to the normal 90 schedule starting with AEF-7 and -8.

AEF Cycle 4

AEF Cycle 5

When major air and space operations diminished in 2003, the Air Force began the process of reestablishing the AEF battle rhythm. Our reconstitution target was March 2004, but the continued demands of global operations, additional contingencies in other theaters, and a tasking to support Army operations with 2,000 expeditionary combat support forces required the Air Force to reassess our planning assumptions, and to adjust the AEFs to a new mission set.

The demands on our deployable forces had not diminished and were not expected to decline for some time. The Air Force had a new rotational requirement for nearly 20,000 Airmen -- about three times the demand prior to September 11, 2001. Further, the Air Force Component Commander in the Central Command area of operations asked to deploy people for longer tour lengths to allow greater continuity for expeditionary commanders in the field. To adapt to this new set of circumstances, the Chief of Staff of the Air Force directed a change to the AEF rotational cycle and have asked the Major Commands to expand the pool of deployable Airmen in each AEF.

Beginning with AEF Cycle 5 in September 2004, the baseline deployment is 120 days vice 90, and the AEF cycle changed from a fifteen-month rotational cycle to a twenty-month cycle. The Air Force continued to expect that each Airman will deploy only once during each cycle, although some stressed specialties will deploy longer, and in greater frequency, until manpower levels are adjusted or the theater requirements diminish. For those already deployed in AEFs 7/8 (Mar - May) and those deploying in AEF 9/10 (Jun - Aug), it was intended to stick to the 90-day deployment cycle. Those identified to deploy in AEF 1/2 (Sep - Nov) prepared to be gone a minimum of four months.

This evolution of the AEF is not a temporary adjustment. It did not changed the basic composition of each AEF; each continued to provide about 5 AEWs and 6 AEGs of capability during each vulnerability period. The low density/high demand units continue to follow DoD-approved deployment guidelines. Finally, Air Force global mobility forces will continue to follow our AEF Presence Policy, with mobility aviation units postured in multiple AEFs to support the USTRANSCOM mission and other Combatant Commander needs.

The 20-month cycle will continue to provide commanders and Airmen the ability to plan ahead, allowing a sense of predictability while providing greater continuity to the in-theater commander. The longer deployments present challenges to our Reserve Component, possibly affecting the number of ARC volunteers, and requiring selected use of Presidential mobilization authority.

In addition to extending tour lengths, the Air Force expanded the pool of deployable Airmen from the prior level of about 272,000. All Major Commands aggressively reviewed the assumptions upon which they exclude Airmen from AEFs and took immediate steps to maximize those postured in the Air Force Worldwide UTC System and AEF libraries. The MAJCOMs will posture the maximum number of manpower authorizations into standard UTCs, and if required, will develop new ones to provide additional expeditionary capabilities. Residual authorizations will be postured into associated UTCs and will be coded to support AEF requirements across the range of military operations. As an example, AFSPC previously did not posture our 20th Air Force missile field security forces. Now, however, they will be postured. This will allow senior leadership to weigh mission priorities, risks and the ramifications of all forces and determine where best to deploy them.

AEF Cycle 6

Cycle 6 began on May 1, 2006.

Air and Space Expeditionary Task Force (ASETF)

AEFs and the on-call AEWs provide a composite of capabilities from which force packages are developed and tailored to meet mission requirements, while AOC and AFFOR C2 elements provide the operational level C2 required for AEW mission accomplishment. The LMWs provide trained leadership to support short notice taskings such as humanitarian relief operations (HUMROs) or noncombatant evacuation operations (NEOs). Specifically tailored forces will be presented to theater commanders as Aerospace Expeditionary Task Forces (ASETFs).

In any operation, a COMAFFOR is designated from the US Air Force and serves as the commander of US Air Force forces assigned and attached to the US Air Force component. Air Force elements deployed in an expeditionary role are designated as an Air and Space Expeditionary Task Force (ASETF). The COMAFFOR, with the ASETF, presents the JFC a task-organized, integrated package with the proper balance of force, sustainment, and force protection elements.

The ASETF is the designated organization to fulfill the JTF and JFACC campaign objectives. An ASETF encompasses all Air Force forces assigned or attached to the JTF and includes other forces dedicated to the JTF mission provided via reachback. It provides the JFACC with a single point of contact for air and space force capabilities in a task-organized, tailored package. Where appropriate, the functions of an ASETF can be accomplished by an in-place NAF. The ASETF can be sized depending on the level of conflict and the desired political and military objectives. The command element includes the COMAFFOR, a staff, and a command and control function.

Air Expeditionary Forces (AEFs) are deployed wings, groups, or squadrons attached to an ASETF or in-place NAF (the term "AEF" is, by itself, generic). Such wings, groups, and squadrons are designated "expeditionary" from the time they are attached until no longer attached. Squadrons and dependent groups assigned or attached to an ASETF add "expeditionary" to the designation of the unit; each wing committed to a joint operation is designated as an Air Expeditionary Wing (AEW) and each independent group is designated an Air Expeditionary Group (AEG).

Wings, groups, and squadrons that are permanently assigned in-theater, and that become attached or assigned to an ASETF, do not add "expeditionary" to their unit designation, because they are not deployed away from their home base. Other deployed wings, groups, and squadrons that are not assigned or attached to the ASETF, but provide significant support (such as airlift and tanker units in the intertheater air bridge or space and special operations units in direct support), may be designated "expeditionary" at the discre-tion of their owning MAJCOM commander. Normally, these "expeditionary" forces retain their peacetime or global operating chains of command.

The ASETF may grow to encompass several wings at geographically separate locations and to encompass the full range of aerospace power. This includes organic sustainment and the capability to plan and execute any operation across the range of military operations from military operations other than war (MOOTW) to a major theater war (MTW).

When attached to a joint force, a NAF that is required to deploy to execute its commitment, will be designated the XX ASETF, where XX refers to its NAF numerical designation. When an ASETF is established as a command echelon subordinate to a NAF, that ASETF will be designated using the number of the engaged NAF, then ASETF, followed by the name of the operation. For example, an ASETF subordinate to 16 AF for Operation DENY FLIGHT would be designated the 16 ASETF-DENY FLIGHT.

AEF IV deployed to Qatar in late February 1997, and demonstrated the ability of land-based air power to move quickly to provide a visible deterrent and tangible combat power. AEF IV put combat sorties in the air in less than 72 hours of receipt of tasking to deploy, when only 13 airlift missions had closed from a total of only 54.

Air Combat Command initiated the first no-notice exercise of its Air Expeditionary Force capabilities in July 1997. Thirty aircraft, associated aircrews, support personnel and equipment deployed to Alaska to support exercise Cope Thunder '97. The AEF's mission during the exercise was to augment exercise forces, validate the capability to rapidly reinforce in-place forces and improve interoperability in joint training. Although there had been five previous AEF deployments, this was the first time the Air Force has exercised the AEF concept from a cold start with no notice. This was also the first time for joint service involvement in an AEF deployment. The AEF included U.S. Navy EA-6Bs, Air Force F-15s from the 33rd Fighter Wing, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.; F-16s from the 388th Fighter Wing, Hill AFB, Utah; B-1s from the 7th Bomb Wing, Dyess AFB, Texas; B-52s from the 2nd Bomb Wing, Barksdale AFB, La., and F-16s from the 35th Fighter Wing, Misawa Air Base, Japan. These aircraft formed the 35th Air Expeditionary Wing based at Elmendorf and Eielson Air Force Bases, Alaska.

The 9 ASETF-SOUTHERN WATCH was deployed in 1997 to Southwest Asia. The 4 AEW (deployed from Seymour Johnson AFB to an in-theater location), the 4404th Composite Wing (Provisional) (already in theater), and the 2 AEW (operating from its CONUS location at Barksdale AFB and TACON to the Commander, 9 ASETF-SOUTHERN WATCH). The 4404 CW (P) receives the deploying 9 EFS to add to its units already in theater. The 4 AEW has added the C-130s of the 39 EAS from Dyess AFB to their two F-15E squadrons. The 9 ASETF-SOUTHERN WATCH commander (USCENTCOM's JTF SWA) would exercise OPCON and ADCON of the forces assigned to his/her command; he/she would be under the OPCON of the JFC appointed by USCINCCENT, and he/she would be under the ADCON of 9 AF/CC. The COMAFFOR has complete ADCON of assigned forces and specified ADCON over attached forces, regardless of US Air Force component.

When an in-place (i.e., in-theater) NAF is assigned/attached to a joint operation as the Air Force component, it uses its NAF numerical designation. For example, 7 AF in Korea remains 7 AF. The 7 AF with four wings (two in-place and two deployed) consists of the 51 WG at Osan AB, with the additional support of the deploying 44 EFS from Kadena AB. The 4 AEW, a mixed force from Seymour Johnson AFB and Dyess AFB, deploys into the theater, as does the 354 AEW from Eielson AFB. The 8 FW stands up in-place at Kunsan AB as the 8 FW. Note that the 51 WG and the 8 FW are not designated "expeditionary" since they are operating from their home stations.

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Page last modified: 05-07-2011 02:16:23 ZULU