One-year deployments on rise across Air Force

Erin Dorrance
Kaiserslautern American

***image1***From learning to drive a Humvee convoy to language and culture
training, KMC Airmen train for their year-long deployments supporting
Army and Marine billets throughout the U.S. Central Command area of

Maj. Jorge Solares, formerly assigned to the 38th Combat Support Wing,
and five other KMC Airmen are serving their one-year deployments as
military advisors to the Afghanistan National Army.  

“We are the first Air Force embedded training team on a 365-day
deployment,” said Major Solares, military advisor to the ANA. “We are
replacing an Army team which in the past was filling a six-month

Although these six KMC Airmen are the first embedded training team on a
year-long deployment, Air Force members have been experiencing a rise
in one-year deployments across the board.

As of June 1, there are more than 2,500 Airmen filling Army and Marine
one-year deployment billets, said Capt. Tiffany Payette, U.S. Central
Command Air Forces Public Affairs deputy director.  

“We constantly look to how the battlespace is evolving and evaluate our
deployment requirements in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Horn of Africa. We
then shape our requirements to meet the needs of the ground force
commander,” said Lt. Gen. Gary North, 9th Air Force and U.S. Central
Command Air Forces commander.  

Airmen serving in Army and Marine billets are called “in-lieu-of”
forces and range from convoy operations to specialized engineering and
medical support.  
The growing demand for Airmen to fill ILO forces has created additional
training to prepare Airmen for serving in Army and Marine
environments.  Often times these environments differ from Air
Force environments due to the use of different weapons and equipment,
said Major Solares.