As we all know, the mission of the 56th Fighter Wing is to â€œTrain the worldâ€™s greatest F-16 fighter pilots and maintainers, while deploying mission-ready warfighters.â€
Throughout the day, we are frequently reminded of the first part of our mission â€” with maintainers constantly busy on the flightline, and jets continuously taking off; however, many are unaware of the numerous Airmen deploying downrange in support of combat operations. In 2011, more than 491 Airmen deployed from Luke Air Force Base to 25 countries around the world, landing Luke in the top three in the Air Education and Training Command for deployments. Even with these high-tempo deployment taskings, many on base still have not had the opportunity to deploy or undergo the entire deployment process.
The overall deployment process is somewhat overwhelming at times, but understanding the basics of how to be and stay prepared to deploy will mitigate issues once tasked with a deployment. Knowing the tempo band, staying current on training, maintaining a current physical training score, and communicating with supervisors on personal status are all simple tricks to maintaining a positive readiness status.
Currently, the Air Force uses Air Expeditionary Force Banding to provide a systematic way to present forces to combatant commanders, and to provide troops a standard rotation for deployments. To determine an Airmanâ€™s AEF tempo band, each member can reference their information on vMPF. On the homepage, members will be able to see their â€œAEF Indicatorâ€ and their â€œDescription/Rotation Period.â€ These two items will provide vital information for members, as it allows them to forecast the eligibility period. To view the deployment table, go to https://luke.eis.aetc.af.mil.
Note: These periods show eligibility of deployment, but does not assure members will definitely deploy.Â
While the current system provides a future outlook to when someone is vulnerable to deploy, every Airman is vulnerable to deploy at a momentâ€™s notice â€” making it extremely important to have Airmen deployment ready year-round. Airmen need to stay current on all job training, as well as additional training such as information assurance, SABC, and information protection. Members need to also ensure they are keeping their physical fitness scores up-to-date and that they are passing all portions of the tests, as deployment opportunities are limited by physical standards. Even though fully trained and prepared to go, it is important for members to communicate their willingness to deploy and concerns to supervisors. They will be able to help prepare members, and memberâ€™s families, for the entirety of the deployment and redeployment process.
While this information is general to most members, more guidance can be found through the unit deployment managers, supervisors, and online sites such as AEF Online. All military members should be aware of their deployment eligibility and be constantly prepared to deploy.
For more information, call the installation deployment readiness cell at (623) 956-3684.