Local News

Air Force Develops New On-Call Deployment System

Posted December 2, 1999 6:00 a.m. EST

— The holiday season is a time to spend with family. For men and women in the military, that family time is not always available. A new system could change that.

Captain David Gosett is doing something that will make theAir Forcehierarchy cheer.

"I'm prepared to stay in the Air Force my full 20 years," Gosett said. "I have already signed up to stay in longer and long term. It is better for the Air Force what we have."

The Air Force has a new way of handling deployments.

Seymour Johnson Air Force Base is one of two bases put onto a new rotation. The rotation would allow 120 days on call for world hot spots and 120 days off.

They would be the first to go for certain missions during the on-call time, but when they are off, the airmen can lead somewhat normal lives. They are currently on call and will be during the holidays.

Major Jack Webster, Air Force pilot, says the new plan allows airmen to plan their holiday schedule.

"You can still plan to do whatever you like for the holidays, just as long as the squad can get in touch with you and bring you back if need be," Webster said. "It does not have any significant impact on our holiday plans."

However, if a full-blown war breaks out, thePentagondetermines which bases will send troops.

The military brass hopes this plan can make military life more predictable and attractive.

"We have not met our first term, second or career re-enlistment goals," said Brigadier General Norman Seip, 4FW Commander. "For the Air Force, that is the first time in about 10 years that has happened."

"So, whether it is a strong economy, whether it is the high op temro, whether it is some of the previous pay concerns, we are tackling all of these," Seip said.

The new system comes after years of losing veteran personnel to private airlines.