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AEF rotation policy remains unchanged

By Gen. John P. Jumper
Air Force chief of staff

2/6/2002 - WASHINGTON - Air Force policy for aerospace expeditionary force rotations remains unchanged. Most airmen will be vulnerable for a 3-month rotation followed by a 12-month period before the next rotation. However, the combination of multiple crisis operations and our ongoing steady state commitments has placed extraordinary stress on the Expeditionary Air Force and our resources.

Taking into account everything we know about current and future requirements to support our nation's fight against terrorism, I have determined the best option is to rotate the majority of AEF 9 and 10 units as scheduled. It appears that our current operations will continue for a long period of time; therefore, we need to rotate our expeditionary forces when and where feasible. We will rotate forces deployed for operations Enduring Freedom, Northern Watch and Southern Watch so those deployed the longest will be allowed to rotate home first to the maximum extent possible.

In some stressed functional areas, requirements exceed the available AEF 1 and 2 forces. We are committed to finding solutions, which will relieve the stress on these career fields. We have the full support of OSD in this effort. However, at this time, we cannot rotate all of our people in these stressed career fields and fill all current requirements. We are forced to extend the rotation to 135 days, or in some cases, to 179 days, for this small number of individuals. The number of people affected appears to be less than 10 percent of our deployed forces.

This is an extraordinary time for the Air Force and our country. The nation is grateful for the sacrifices our airmen continue to make in meeting our commitments to fight the war on terrorism and defend the American homeland. The secretary and I are proud of the job you are doing and we are personally committed to maintaining the AEF rotation schedule to the greatest extent possible.

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