Leadership: May 28, 2003


The U.S. Air Force thought it had figured out how to deal with the need to send warplanes overseas on short notice. Over the last few years, it established ten Air Expeditionary Force (AEF) wings. Each of these units has 15,000 troops and 150-200 aircraft assigned. The AEFs would operate on a 15 month cycle. Ten months for training, two months preparing for overseas movement, and then three months overseas, or waiting in the United States and available for movement overseas on short notice. The Iraq war, and the threat of action in Korea, ruined that schedule. So to give troops who have been overseas for as long as nine months a break, two temporary AEFs are being formed. Troops who have not been overseas for a while are being used to set up these two AEFs and will go overseas to get some of the long serving troops home.


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