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Policy changes benefit Airmen headed for 365-day deployments

RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, TEXAS -- Effective Oct. 1, the Air Force will implement policy changes to improve sourcing efficiency of 365-day deployments and ensure Airmen receive adequate notification prior to deployment.

The new policy sets the deployment 'accept or decline' option at three calendar days, streamlines the verification process and incorporates the Air Expeditionary Force reclama process (request to cancel the selected Airman) for 365-day taskings. It also requires a medical pre-assessment for Airmen attending combat skills training. Officials expect the changes to reduce or eliminate late reporting dates and provide Airmen more lead time than the 60 days or less notification some currently experience.

"These changes are designed to streamline the process and provide Airmen adequate time to prepare themselves and their families before departing on 365-day deployments," said Maj. Gen. K.C. McClain, commander of the Air Force Personnel Center.

More than 1,850 Airmen are on 365-day deployments, and about one-third received less than 60 days notification. Several factors slowed the selection process such as short notice of the requirement, an increase in declinations, and medical profiles.

Reducing the 'accept or decline' option to three calendar days provides more time to notify the next Airman in line. If the third calendar day is a weekend or holiday, the official notification period is extended to the first duty day thereafter.

The verification process is streamlined by identifying the most eligible Airman Air Force-wide rather than identifying a capability within a command. This will reclaim up to six days in the overall selection process while maintaining major command visibility.

The adoption of the AEF reclama process standardizes all deployment cancellation requests by routing them through major command vice commanders. This standardizes and automates the process, increasing major command and wing leadership visibility and placing the decision point with commanders in the field.

Finally, required medical pre-assessment to ensure the rigorous physical requirements of combat skills training can be met. The medical pre-assessment speeds the reselection process if an Airman is found medically unfit to attend CST.

"These changes are the result of a team effort by personnel, operations and medical working together to take care of deploying Airmen," said General McClain.

For more information, visit the AFPC "Ask" Web site; select "365 Extended Deployments" under the Military Quick Links (a Common Access Card is required). You can also get more information through the 24-hour Air Force Contact Center at (800) 616-3775.