AEF conference prepares experts for upcoming deployment

  • Published
  • By Jon Hanson
  • Air Force Personnel, Services and Manpower Public Affairs
Air and Space Expeditionary Force and Personnel Operations representatives from the Air Force Personnel Center here held their latest execution conference June 15 and 16 to help prepare more than 300 unit deployment managers, installation deployment officers and functional experts for the upcoming AEF cycle.

"AEF is a living, evolving process that is constantly changing," said Rod Metcalf, a program analyst with AEF and Personnel Operations at the Air Force Personnel Center. "As those changes take place we have to adjust our training and education in order to meet the combatant commander's requirements."

Major Gen. A.J. Stewart, the AFPC commander, opened the conference by not only welcoming attendees but also challenging them to make this deployment the best one yet.

"This is a big deal," Stewart said. "Last year we deployed 110,000 U.S. Air Force Airmen all over the world.

"We (here) implement policy (and) procedures and orchestrate, but you all execute," he said. "(Unit deployment managers) test the Airmen; you get them ready to go out the door, properly trained, on time, with the right equipment every time. Thank you for doing that."

During the two-day conference briefers from AFPC, the Pentagon, Air Force Central Command, Air Combat Command, Air Mobility Command and Air Education and Training Command, among others, discussed a wide variety of topics.

Topics included policy changes, sourcing trends, transportation, equipment and area-of-responsibility specific issues. In addition, there were breakout sessions for the various major commands to highlight any particular issues that may have arisen from the previous AEF cycle.

"Our central objective is always to get the right capability to the right place on time, get our Airmen home safely and do it better than we did the last time," said Bradley Higginbotham, chief of plans for AEF Operations. "The units that are supplying the capabilities are not the same each rotation. This conference allows us pass on lessons learned and make any corrections before the next rotation deploys."

Air Force deployment officials hold an AEF execution conference about 110 days before each rotation. The next conference will be in December.

For more information visit AEF Online at