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Extended deployments affect only 200.

WASHINGTON -- Air Force officials are designating some positions in U.S. Central Command's area of responsibility as 365-day extended deployments in an effort to provide stability and allow for long-term relationship building with host governments.

The new tour lengths will affect only about 200 key and critical operational and joint task force staff positions, officials said.

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. John P. Jumper directed the extended tours in response to requests from joint task force commanders seeking continuity in selected positions, often where the local culture requires more time to establish meaningful ties with local people and host governments.

No new positions will be created; they will be converted from current AEF slots.

"The positions will span a wide spectrum of Air Force career fields," said Lt. Col. James Davis, Air Force assignment classification, retirements and separation policy chief. "There will be a good mix of enlisted and officer positions, mainly mid-level and up."

Colonel Davis said selections would be made during the course of the upcoming spring and summer assignment cycles with all being in place by August. Volunteers will be sought first, he said. If there aren't enough volunteers, officials will use modified short-tour criteria to fill the slots.

The positions will fall under the category of "indeterminate length" temporary duty assignments, allowing for certain entitlements to apply that aren't available for standard temporary assignments.

Storage of household goods is one benefit; there are also possible options for moving the Airman's family while deployed; the availability and extent of those options will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Airmen may also have the option of returning to their former assignment, if there is a suitable vacancy, officials said.

Airmen serving the 365-day TDYs will receive short-tour credit and be exempt from AEF or other contingency deployments for six months following their return home. Most of the joint task force positions will earn joint-duty credit depending on actual length of rotation, officials said.

Master Sgt. David Byron

Air Force Print News
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Author:Byron, David
Publication:Airman
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 1, 2005
Words:334
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