USAF Intel Corps in Demand

The Air Force’s intelligence career field is in big demand in the fight in Afghanistan and Iraq, Col. Eric Holdaway, director of intelligence-surveillance-reconnaissance for Air Forces Central, told reporters April 23 during a conference call. So much so, he said, that intel airmen are on a one-to-one deployment/dwell cycle, meaning they can expect to be downrange for six months to a year and get back home for an equivalent period of time. Further, a number of ISR airmen are currently tapped for joint expeditionary taskings with non-USAF units, he said. To ease the strain, the Air Force is looking at the specialties within the intelligence field that could be merged with other fields that don’t deploy as often. The demand will remain, but it would help the deployment cycles by sending new people over who have not had the opportunity to deploy yet, Holdaway said. Also, the Air Force is looking at changing up its assignment policy. There is a possibility that a “deliberate assignment policy” could be implemented where an intelligence airman would choose a two-year assignment that is vulnerable to deployment then go into “sanctuary” for a few years for career development, he said. (For more Daily Report coverage of Holdaway’s telecon, read April 24’s entry The UAV Advantage.)