NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — When in-processing to a new duty station, newcomers receive a checklist to accomplish before taking leave or going on a permissive TDY to look for a house. However, an item being overlooked while in-processing with the unit deployment manager is providing an Air and Space Expeditionary Force Indicator.
The AEF Indicator is a letter and number combination assigned to military members aligning them with an AEF cycle, which is used to identify when Airmen deploy.
“Airmen coming from an overseas [assignment] or short tour, have six months before being [eligible] to be tasked for a deployment,” said Jeri Cooper, 99th Comptroller Squadron, U.S. Air Force Warfare Center and 99th Air Base Wing Staff Agencies UDM. “Stateside to stateside moves are eligible [to deploy] within 45 days.”
According to Air Force Instruction 10-403, Deployment Planning and Execution, unit commanders are to ensure Airmen have contacted their UDM before they take leave.
“Every Airman needs an AEF Indicator so they are prepared for upcoming deployments,” Cooper said. “Without the AEF Indicator an Airman could get a tasking they might not have received if they had [the correct] AEF Indicator.”
When a tasking comes down, units have to fill them. The AEF Indicator identifies the person who is eligible for that deployment cycle.
“AEF Indicators are assigned [based on] unit requirements,” Cooper said. The AEF Indicator shouldn’t change during an Airman’s assignment either, Cooper noted.
“When you deploy within your designated AEF Indicator, when you return, you should maintain the same AEF Indicator,” Cooper said.