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Some joint exercise participants coming from on-call AEFs

by Tech Sgt. Scott Elliott Air Force Print News

09/30/02 - WASHINGTON -- Requirements for overseas joint exercises longer than 30 days will now be filled by people assigned to the on-call air and space expeditionary forces, according to a policy approved by the Air Force Vice Chief of Staff AEF Forum.

Officials expect the policy to result in greater stability and predictability within the AEF construct and, potentially, reduce the personnel tempo temporary duty rates for some airmen.

Previously, manning for Joint Chiefs of Staff and other joint exercises came from AEFs that were in their 10-month training windows. Requirements for exercises less than 30 days will still come from these units.

The new policy takes effect immediately, with the Air and Space Expeditionary Force Center at Langley Air Force Base, Va., as the lead agency for implementation.

"The first reason (for the change) is because these exercises drive up the temporary duty rates of our people," said Maj. Gen. Timothy A. Peppe, special assistant to the chief of staff for AEF matters.

"We want to keep track of these exercises (because) we don't want to use all of our capabilities and be caught short when it comes time to support contingencies," he said. "The issue is...if we don't watch tasking levels, we won't have enough flexibility to support both contingencies and joint exercises, and we'll run out of critical skills."

Besides helping keep the Air Force's exercise program in sync with the service's ability to support crisis and steady state operations, the general said he believes the policy will reinforce confidence in the AEF construct.

"We're trying to fine-tune the utilization of our people to the maximum extent possible, so the 'contracts' we've made can be upheld," Peppe said, referring to the service's goal of keeping an airman's vulnerability for AEF deployment to no more than three months per 15-month AEF cycle.

"The transportation squadron at Kirtland (AFB, N.M.) sent airmen to Bright Star from September to December (2001)," he said. "I would maintain that those airmen shouldn't be vulnerable in the next AEF rotation. You can see why; they've already done their three months."

Peppe said the new policy passes the common sense test.

"The AEF Center needs to know about any exercise that forces our people into a lengthy TDY situation," he said. "If the shoe drops and our personnel have to deploy to support a combatant commander, (the AEF Center) needs to know who's available."



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