Deployed Airmen continue filling Army's 'in-lieu-of' taskings'

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Justin Goodrich
  • Det. 8, Air Force News Agency
Deployments are a part of life for all people serving in the United States military. Each service deploys a certain number of troops to different parts of the world with rotations to evenly divide the workload.

In the past few years Airmen have undergone changes in their wartime mission, from providing support for convoy duties and escorting third country nationals in Iraq and Afghanistan. The new roles played by Airmen help the Air Force become more agile and ready for a greater variety of threats.

The Air Force deploys thousands of Airmen to support air operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other key strategic points around the globe. But, the Air Force has also been helping the Army fill six month deployment slots called "in lieu of taskings." These positions are normally filled by Soldiers, but because of the Army's heavy theater operations tempo, these slots are being filled by the Air Force's warfighters.

"We are in a surge right now in the military in all branches of the service, so we are filling probably around 5,000 "in lieu of taskings" ... and that may increase a bit during this surge," said Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force Rodney McKinley.

Filling the Army slots can be demanding for Airmen because of the extra training and boots on ground time. Some Airmen are wondering how long the in lieu of taskings will go on.

"We are going to continue to do this as long as we are tasked, as long as we are needed, but the fact remains that we are here to win this war on terrorism. When the Air Force gets taskings we will do what we need to do for the good of the United States," Chief McKinley said.

Airmen who are stepping up to fill these roles are directly supporting the fight in the global war on terrorism and showing how each U.S. military service works together to accomplish mutual goals.

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