Air Force finalizes policy on non-deployable airmen

One year after the Department of Defense implemented a new policy for resolving the duties of servicemembers who cannot be deployed, the U.S. Air Force has released its plans on how it will address the growing problem.

Last February, Defense Secretary James N. Mattis raised issue with the number of troops on non-deployable status, contending that it was resulting in servicemembers who are deployable being deployed more than they should be.

He implemented a new policy that states that if you are not deployable for one year or more—with an exemption for those injured in combat—than you have to be active in another suitable role.

In accordance with this policy, the Air Force issued its own guidance calling for airmen who have been non-deployable for more than 12 consecutive months to be evaluated for retention either through referral to the Disability Evaluation System or considered for separation from service.

Air Force leaders signed a memo charging every airman should be fit for duty and maintain a "wartime mission-capable" status.

“We expect all airmen to exercise personal accountability for their deployable status and to take the necessary steps to maintain their readiness,” the memo stated, adding, “Commanders will ensure airmen understand what is required and ensure the necessary resources are available to achieve our goal of a 95 percent or higher deployable rate within their units.”

In order to be considered "wartime mission-capable," airmen must: meet individual medical readiness standards, to include medical, dental, and physical components; be able to execute the wartime mission requirements of their respective career fields; be current on the fitness assessment; and be considered a satisfactory participant in Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard duties, as applicable.

Exemptions include those who are pregnant/postpartum, in a training or transient status, deployable with limitations, undergoing an adoption, humanitarian assignment, legal action, a sole survivor/surviving family member/deferred from hostile force zone, a conscientious objector, absent without leave, or have a pending administrative separation.

Reader comments

Thu, Mar 7, 2019

Push away from the table, consume less calories, no alcohol, self-service buffets and take a gym routine.

Wed, Mar 6, 2019

Maybe the non-deployable airmen need some incentive such as join an inexpensive gym, reduce the caloric intake along with no booze, candy etc and then have strict enforced rules such as being released from active duty. Those who need medical attention (dental and other health issues) should be taken care of and brought back to where they can be utilized because of their skill sets.

Thu, Feb 28, 2019

How can you be considered exempt from the policy if you are AWOL? Would they be processed for desertion instead?

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Edward A. Zurndorfer Certified Financial Planner
Mike Causey Columnist
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