Air Force Reserve Command is modifying its air and space expeditionary force cycles. As with the changes announced May 13 for the active duty component, these tweaks are intended to provide more predictability for Reservists with skills in high demand that leads them to be called for overseas duty for longer stints and more often than the Air Force’s normal rotation schedule. Reservists will now fit into one of three bands: A, M, or N. Tempo band A will apply to most Reserve personnel and is considered normal operations. Thus airmen assigned to it should expect to see little to no change in how they deploy. Tempo bands M and N represent mobilization bands for stressed career fields that USAF has already identified, such as logistics planning, vehicle maintenance, aerial port operations, and civil engineering, and for any more designated as such in coming months. Reserve airmen with these skills will move into tempo band M, meaning that they will be on a 1:5 deployment-to-home station rotation, when their active duty counterparts move into a 1:2 dwell rate. Reservists with specialized skills will fall under tempo band N, with a 1:4 deployment-to-home station ratio, when their active duty compatriots go on a 1:1 deploy-to-dwell time schedule. AFRC expects to fully implement the tempo band system by October. (Robins report by SSgt. Drew Nystrom)
Rumored cuts to the F-35 from the fiscal 2025 defense budget—six from Air Force plans—would not be offset by recent Foreign Military Sales, and will disrupt ongoing Lot 19 negotiations, Pentagon and industry sources said.