Increased Continuity

Air Combat Command officials say the switch to a baseline 179-day deployment schedule only affects an “estimated 12 to 15 percent of aviation units” since the majority already deploy for more than 120 days. (See DR’s Changing Tempo) According to ACC, some 71 percent of the Air Force currently deploys for longer than the existing 120-day baseline. That, said Gen. Norton Schwartz, Chief of Staff, in a Sept. 2 memo, provided “little in terms of predictability and stability.” Gen. William Fraser III, ACC commander, said that the new baseline “increases continuity for combatant commanders and provides greater opportunities for airmen to reset when they redeploy to home station.” Combat Air Force units, which operate on a 1:3 deployment-to-dwell ratio, will have their home station time increase from 12 months to 18 months. Schwartz expects the new baseline to remain in effect for the duration of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. (ACC release; CSAF memo)