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Home : News : News
NEWS | Feb. 16, 2021

Tour lengths increase for certain first-term overseas assignments

By Staff Sgt. Jeremy L. Mosier Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs

Effective March 1, Airmen and Guardians overseas tour lengths are now 36 months for first-term unaccompanied permanent assignments at certain overseas locations.

Unaccompanied Airmen and Guardians, both enlisted and officers, who are on their first permanent duty assignment will serve 36 months at the following 
Pacific Air Forces and United States Air Forces in Europe locations:

Roya Air Force Mildenhall, United Kingdom; RAF Lakenheath, U.K.;  RAF Alconbury, U.K.; RAF Croughton, U.K.; London, Menwith Hill, U.K.; Fairford, U.K.; Welford, U.K.; Molesworth, U.K.; Aviano Air Base, Italy; Stavenger Air Base, Norway; Ramstein Air Base, Germany; Kaiserslautern, Germany; Sembach, Germany; Vogelweh, Germany; Landstuhl, Germany; Kapaun, Germany; Einsiedlerhof, Germany; Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany; Kadena Air Base, Japan; Misawa Air Base, Japan; and Yokota Air Base, Japan.

An unaccompanied overseas tour is a tour served overseas without command-sponsored dependents when dependents are authorized at that location.

“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,” said Lt. Gen. Brian T. Kelly, deputy chief of staff for manpower, personnel and services. “A 24-month tour was not adequate for our new Airmen and Guardians to thrive, nor was it enough time to provide the continuity needed for the unit. The change was made to support the mission and to ensure our members receive a longer transitional period.”

The new tour length provides the unit with more time to train and develop the service member, and it provides stability during the member’s first few years in the Department of the Air Force, Kelly said.

During the initial assignment briefing, orders officials will inform affected members of the new 36-month tour length.

This policy does not apply to retrainees, crossflows and prior service members who receive a commission. The overseas tour lengths for accompanied service members remain the same, 36 or 48 months, depending on the tour type.

For more information on the changes to tour length, visit AFI 36-2110.