Units aligned to the AEFs are either deployed handling steady-state
contingency requirements such as Operations Southern and Northern
Watch or remain at home on-call to deploy. As the Air Force transitions
to the AEF structure, units drawn from AEFs 1 and 2 will remain
deployed or on-call to deploy for the next two months. During
the first part of December, units aligned to AEFs 3 and 4 will
swap out for a 90-day period, which will be the standard deployment
eligibility cycle under the concept.
Its important to note that the AEF itself does not actually deploy.
A good analogy is to think of an AEF as a bucket of capability.
Within that bucket, you have units operating a cross-section of
weapon system capabilities and expeditionary combat support personnel.
From these AEFs, aircraft and people will be pulled to cover known
steady-state and contingency requirements. Now instead of individual
bluesuitters being tasked on multiple occasions to deploy while
others are never tasked, units will know when they are vulnerable
to deploy, and the task load spread more evenly amongst the force.
This process allows the Air Force to more evenly spread taskings
across the total forceActive, Air National Guard and Air Force
Each of the 10 AEFs are roughly similar in capability and consist
of fighter and bomber aircraft from across the Total ForceActive
Duty, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve. In addition to
the aircraft, the AEFs have about 10,000 to 15,000 expeditionary
combat support personnel assigned to unit tasking codes that are
aligned under the AEFs. That doesnt mean that all 10,000 people
are going to deploy, the Air Force will only deploy those people
needed to meet the contingency requirement.
In addition to the AEFs, the 4th Wing at Seymour Johnson AFB,
N.C., began a 60-day on-call period to handle any pop-up or emergency
crisis. In December the 366th Wing at Mountain Home, Idaho will
swap out with them.
The EAF concept was brought about as a result of several factors:
increased small-scale contingency global taskings, a giant reduction
in force and an older Air Force structure designed to contain
communism during the Cold War. These led to shortfalls in some
capabilities, and brought an excessive tempo for some Air Force
people. With that in mind, Air Force leaders designed EAF with
the following objectives:
While beginning the transition period, the Air Force expects to
learn a lot during the first couple of rotations.
courtesy EAF Implementation Office