A Shift Toward Equal Deployments?

The Air Force is changing the deployment tour lengths for some specialties to render them the same as those of the other services, reports The Robins Rev-Up. Already more than 40 percent of current USAF deployments exceed the Air Force’s professed standard of four-month rotations, stated the Robins AFB, Ga., newspaper. If this is in fact a new trend, it would certainly resolve what Marine Corps Gen. Peter Pace, Joint Chiefs Chairman, recently said was the “biggest morale factor” he has encountered in talking with troops. One of the prime drivers in the Air Force’s shift to longer tours appears to be the use of airmen to fill Army jobs—the so-called “in lieu of” taskings. And, if Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has his way, more airmen—those that remain after the 40,000-man cut—will be filling in for ground forces.