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AEF Evolution -- Implementing a tempo-based force generation construct

WASHINGTON -- An improved Global Air and Space Expeditionary Force construct will soon use a tempo-based rule set, building on the current 20-month cycle of five 120-day AEF pairs.

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. T. Michael Moseley recently approved the implementation of this tempo-based Global AEF force generation construct; and implementation progress was briefed at the Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force AEF Forum May 13.

These changes were recommended by the AEF Steering Group to provide increased predictability of tour length and tempo for Airmen. These improvements are not intended to change how often or how long Airmen deploy, but instead they will synchronize the AEF with the Joint planning process and allow the Air Force to more efficiently meet combatant commander requirements.

"The Global AEF is the result of an intense effort to evolve the current AEF construct to more efficiently meet the realities of today's security environment and prepare to meet tomorrow's challenges," said Maj. Gen. William Rew, director of Operational Planning, Policy and Strategy and co-chair of the AEF Steering Group.

The new construct uses a tempo-based rule set which assigns functional area unit type codes to one of five tempo bands. The baseline, tempo band "A," matches the current AEF construct with five 120-day AEF pairs operating on a 1:4 deploy-to-dwell tempo.

Tempo bands "B" through "E" have been added to provide predictability, structure and rule sets for the nearly 50 percent of functional areas currently operating at a tempo greater than 1:4 or for a duration greater than 120 days. UTCs will be postured in bands "B" through "E" in six month blocks, at a 1:4, 1:3, 1:2 and 1:1 deploy-to-dwell respectively. This means, for example, that an Airman aligned in Band "C" with a 1:3 deploy-to-dwell tempo can expect to deploy for six months (179 days), then spend 18 months in dwell before becoming vulnerable to deploy again.

"The Global AEF construct is a good news story for Airmen, allowing them to easily determine their deploy-to-dwell," said Maj. Gen. K.C. McClain, Air Force Personnel Center commander and co-chair of the AEF Steering Group. "These changes will ensure we continue to provide combatant commanders with world-class capabilities, while at the same time giving our Airmen and commanders more predictable and stable deployment schedules."

Operational testing of this construct for select functional areas has already begun. Additional functional areas will be brought into the construct in four phases, with initial operating capacity for the total force by late fall 2008.

In addition to benefits already mentioned, the tempo-based Global AEF construct will provide for the continued crucial participation of Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve personnel. The enhanced visibility of the active component tempo will enable more predictable planning of reserve component participation in both volunteer and mobilized status.

AEF operations became part of AFPC in August 2006. Contact your supervisor or unit commander if you have specific AEF questions. Additional AEF information can be found at the AEF Web site, which is linked from the AFPC "Ask" site.