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Air Force Boosts Morale With Predictable Schedules

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SEYMOUR JOHNSON — Seymour Johnson Air Force Base is getting new flying orders. The base's new "on-call" status is designed to boost morale by making schedules more predictable.

TheU.S. Air Forceis putting this plan into effect at bases all over the country. They are hoping to recruit new members as well as keep their good pilots by making life a little more normal at home.

Senior Airman George Aikens is hoping for bright times ahead. He and his wife are expecting a baby, and his career is going well.

Now, the Air Force says he will not have to sacrifice one for the other.

"Predictability is always good to plan your finances and what not or planning what your family is going to do during the time that you're away," said Aikens.

During the next few months, the Air Force will phase in a new way of doing business.

Most foreign deployments will be handled on a rotational basis by ten expeditionary groups outside of North Carolina.

Pope Air Force Baseis one of five bases that will specialize in humanitarian missions. Seymour Johnson will be on call every 90 days as a back-up force for the others.

"I think this is a way to put some planning and some predictability in our lifestyles and schedule," said Col. Denny Carel.

It all boils down to predictability. Since the Cold War, airmen have complained about almost constant deployment to the world's hot spots.

They'll still go, but in most cases, they should be able to plan a little better in advance before being called away.

On that back-up basis, Seymour Johnson is expected to be ready to deploy within 48 hours if necessary.


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