By MRS. LAUREN FOSNOT, STAFF WRITER
The Air Force undoubtably boasts an unwavering commitment to readiness. To ensure the readiness needed to support the future fight, the Air Force is introducing a new deployment model.
Mark Johnson, Chief of Air Mobility Command’s (AMC) Global Force Management Deployment and Policy Branch at Scott Air Force Base, IL, says this deployment model will transform the way Airmen train. Johnson further explained that the model focuses on “the training processes needed to create a highly functioning and ready force, prepared for potential conflict against peer competitors around the world.”
The new model, called Air Force Force Generation, or AFFORGEN, will replace the current Air Expeditionary Force construct. The new and improved model is on a 24-month cycle, which is composed of four 6-month readiness phases: (1) Prepare, (2) Ready, (3) Available to Commit, and (4) Reset. Airmen build high-end readiness through the Prepare and Ready phases, deploy during the Available to Commit phase, and reintegrate during the Reset phase.
The goal of AFFORGEN is to provide a more predictable and balanced rotation schedule for Airmen and crews while ensuring that they are ready and capable to meet any mission. This peak readiness is verified via a certification exercise event.
After certification, Airmen can be deployed. “We are being very disciplined in addressing crises and making sure deployed Airmen have had the 18 months of training time before being eligible to be sent forward,” Johnson said.
This predictable and stable rotation schedule for Airmen and crews is beneficial for a number of reasons. First, this focused training enhances Airmen’s core competencies while also focusing on the concept of Multi-Capable Airmen as it allows them to focus and work toward the goal of being certified. Second, according to Johnson, “By scheduling deployment further in advance, Airmen can train and certify as a team together. When they land down range, there is already the cohesion built—they are all already on the same footing.” The improved camaraderie is due to being able to spend more time together as a team. Finally, AFFORGEN will enhance the quality of life and morale of Airmen and their families because they will have more stability and predictability in their schedules. Johnson discussed how this model will also enhance routine AMC missions, as the military’s transportation needs exist 365 days a year.
According to Air Force Chief of Staff Gen Charles Q. Brown, Jr., AFFORGEN is one of the drivers for culture change, freeing up the mental capacity for Airmen to focus on the tasks ahead. Looking ahead of the model, the Air Force anticipates that AFFORGEN will reach initial operating capability in fiscal year 2023.
AFFORGEN is not just about deploying forces, it is about generating forces that are ready and capable to meet any mission. As Brown said, “AFFORGEN is not just an acronym; it’s our way forward.”
The Air Force embodies constant advancement, and initiatives like AFFORGEN exemplify this pursuit of perfection. This approach ensures a state of constant readiness and progress, avoiding complacency at all costs.