Forces: October 12, 2000


The Air Force has successfully moved to its new system of 10 expeditionary air wings which deploy for 3 months overseas out of every 15 months. This is easing the burden on personnel, who complain that six or more months away from their home base wrecks their family life and leads them to take civilian jobs rather than re-enlist. The GAO says, however, that there is no systematic way to tell if the new system is working, and that reserve and Guard personnel are carrying more and more of the load. Under the current system, units going on deployment pull in reservists to fill some key positions, but each reservist can serve only 15 days which means six or more are needed for every job during a rotation.--Stephen V Cole


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