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AEF move to AFPC now complete

RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- The Air Force took another step forward in the merging of deployment and personnel processes Sept. 26 with a formal ribbon-cutting ceremony designating full operational capability for the Air and Space Expeditionary Force and Personnel Operations Directorate at the Air Force Personnel Center here.

The AEF Center, previously located at Langley Air Force Base, Va., became a direct reporting unit of AFPC in August 2006 and was named one of AFPC's seven directorates in June 2007. In January, AFPC's readiness division and casualty matters division were combined with AEF operations to create the AEF and Personnel Operations Directorate.

"Achieving FOC means we can replicate all the functions here that were performed at Langley," said Steven Kelley, AEF and Personnel Operations deputy director. "Our goal was to make this transition seamless and invisible to our customers and to the combatant commanders.

Much of the credit for that seamless transition was due to the behind-the-scenes efforts of AFPC's systems operations professionals, said Mr. Kelley.

AFPC earned initial operating capability for the AEF computer systems migration from Langley when the sourcing and scheduling of a deployment requirement was completed Aug. 31, 2007. Since then, a myriad of technical challenges have been met and overcome, such as increasing the bandwidth of the base's Secure Internet Protocol Network, bringing all the AEF servers and databases online and re-wiring the bulk of the telephone and computer networks in AFPC's main building.

Now, with the physical move of personnel, capabilities and the systems migration complete, the AEF and Personnel Operations Directorate can focus on improving its AEF methodology as they daily provide Air Force capabilities to the warfighter.

While making improvements to the AEF methodology, the directorate also wants to simultaneously take care of Airmen, said Col. Paul Ackerley, AEF and Personnel Operations director.

"We never lose sight of the fact that we have a dual obligation to the combatant commander and to our Airmen," the colonel said. "Each day, we focus on the requirements of the combatant commanders while working hard, in coordination with the major commands and bases, to ensure our Airmen receive timely notification of a deployment and any associated predeployment training."