Air Force modernizes deployments to meet future challenges

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Hailey Farrell
  • 509th Bomb Wing Public Affairs

The 509th Bomb Wing is preparing for the needs of tomorrow as Airmen at Whiteman AFB transition to the new Air Expeditionary Force deployment model, and prepare to take the mission anywhere, anytime.

Air Force Force Generation is how the Air Force presents its forces to the Joint Staff and the joint service. It describes what the Air Force can bring to combatant commanders, said 509th Bomb Wing’s Installation Deployment Officer Rodney Kennedy.

AFFORGEN is designed to better define the Air Force’s capabilities and the forces they can bring to a combatant commander at a deployed location.

Under the previous deployment model, Airmen were sourced from various wings for deployment. After they are tasked to deploy, they begin the various training task required to be certified for deployment.

According to Kennedy, the legacy model of the Air Force builds custom force elements every time a deployment tasking is made, with Airmen from different regions. AFFORGEN is designed to build the force elements needed ahead of time and standardize the force being given.

Under AFFORGEN, Airmen deploy as a unit from the same wing and get the opportunity to train together before deployment.

The AFFORGEN model includes four, six-month phases with a 24-month cycle: Prepare, Ready, Available, and Reset.

During the first phase, Prepare, Airmen focus on training to ensure peak readiness when time to deploy. Airmen participate in single and multi-mission training events, as well as capstone certification exercises.

“People who are being deployed together will have the opportunity to train together beforehand, during the Prepare phase of AFFORGEN, so when you get down range, you’re not meeting the people you will be deployed with for the first time,” said Kennedy.

In the Ready phase, commanders and unit deployment managers will review Airmen’s training records to determine if they have met the requirements for deployment.

“With the current deployment model, we task you and then you start your training,” said Tech. Sgt. Brooke Gaunska, 509th Bomb Wing Staff unit deployment manager. “With AFFORGEN the intention is that you will be ready to commit when tasked with a deployment because your training will already be completed.”

Once certified Airmen move into the Available phase. During this phase, Airmen are expected to maintain peak readiness for an upcoming deployment or are mobilized into a deployed location.

The last phase in AFFORGEN’s 24-month cycle is Reset.

“After deployment when you return home you enter the reset phase,” said Kennedy. “In this phase, you spend time reconnecting with family and catching up on personnel development, such as unit or upgrade training.”

The changes that AFFORGEN bring are designed to enable mission success and ensure team Whiteman is trained and ready to go when called upon.