Armed Forces News

Okinawa, Japan: Airman 1st Class Ian Wilkerson, a 718th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron communication navigation specialist, checks the radio systems of an HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter during a preflight inspection April 26, 2016, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. (US Air Force photo / Naoto Anazawa)

Unaccompanied permanent first-term tours at several overseas bases are being extended to 36 months for airmen and Space Force guardians.

The extended tour lengths are intended to allow more time for training and development, and to provide stability during an Air Force or Space Force member’s initial years in uniform. The change will not affect service members who are applying for retraining, crossflows, or earned a commission following prior service.


“During these moves, service members not only have to adjust to their new jobs, but also to a new culture and country, which takes time. A 24-month tour was not adequate for our new airmen and guardians to thrive, nor was there enough time to provide the continuity needed for service,” said Lt. Gen. Brian T. Kelly, deputy chief of staff for manpower and personnel. “The change was made to support the mission and to ensure our members receive a longer transitional period.”

Here are the affected bases:

* RAF Lakenheath, Alconbury, Croughton, London Menwith Hill, Fairford, Welford, and Molesworth in the United Kingdom.
* Stavenger Air Base, Norway.
* Ramstein Air Base, Kaiserslautern, Sembach, Vogelweh, Landstuhl, Kapaun, Einsiedlerhof, and Spangdahlem Air Base in Germany.
* Kadena, Misawa, and Yokota airbases in Japan.

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