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Air Force normalizes short-tour credit policy

Washington (AFNS) -- Beginning July 1, Airmen will no longer receive short tour credit for overseas temporary duty assignments of 181 consecutive days. This change initially was announced in a memorandum signed by Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz in April.

In June 2003, a temporary exception to policy was approved to award short-tour credit to Airmen who deployed to hostile environments for at least 181 consecutive days after 9/11. This exception was initiated since traditional AEF deployments at the time were 120 days. A similar exception was made for Airmen deploying in support of Desert Storm in the early 1990s.

The decision to terminate the current short-tour credit exception to policy is largely based on the number of Airmen who now deploy for longer periods of time. Additionally, with transportation delays and mandatory overlap with successors, the vast majority of Airmen deployed for 179 days remained in the area of responsibility just long enough to reach the 181-day threshold.

"The standard Air Force deployment is now 179 days," said Col. Ken Sersun, chief of the Military Force Policy Division on the Air Staff. "Granting short-tour credit based on 181 days deployment has become inconsistent with the short-tour credit earned by our Airmen who deploy for 365 days."

The following guidelines apply under the new policy:

-- Airmen who were previously awarded short-tour credit under the temporary 181-day policy will keep their short-tour credit

-- Airmen who arrived in the area of responsibility prior to July 1, 2011, and serve at least 181 days consecutively in a hostile fire or imminent danger pay area will receive short tour credit under the previous criteria

-- Airmen who arrive in the AOR on or after July 1, 2011, will not receive short-tour credit under the temporary 181-day policy

-- Airmen will be awarded short-tour credit based on TDY service stipulated in AFI 36-2110, Assignments

Since the exception to policy went into effect in 2003, 16,795 Airmen have deployed more than once on 179-day taskings. Since 9/11, more than 52,000 Airmen have deployed for 181 to 200 days. The number of 179-day taskings also has grown significantly since January 2006 from about 6,500 taskings to about 16,600 taskings.

For additional information visit the AFPC personnel services website at https://gum-crm.csd.disa.mil/app/ or call the Total Force Service Center toll-free at (800) 525-0102 or DSN 665-5000.

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