Following the Gulf War, the U.S. Air Force placed a 120-day-per-year ceiling on temporary duty (TDY) both for contingency operations and for non-contingency-related activities, including training courses and exercises. Questions have arisen, however, regarding the extent to which these competing demands for TDY may be adversely affecting Air Force training activities. Accordingly, the authors seek to ascertain the magnitude of noncontingency TDY that the Air Force needs to maintain requisite levels of training and readiness. Toward this end, they examined the accuracy of current Air Force TDY data, as captured in the Air Force Personnel Center’s TDY History File, with data on TDY that individuals have actually performed. They also interviewed more than 40 squadron commanders, to determine whether contingency operations had indeed taken a toll on non-contingency-related efforts. The authors conclude that widespread errors do exist in the recording of TDY, with many such errors attributable to miscategorizations or to missing data. Interviews further revealed that more than half of all squadron commanders felt that noncontingency TDY levels were in fact too low. On the basis of these findings, the authors recommend that the Air Force’s TDY tracking system be improved and that the burden of TDY for contingency operations be reduced.
The research reported here was sponsored by the United States Air Force, and was conducted under the auspices of RAND's Project AIR FORCE.
This report is part of the RAND Corporation Documented briefing series. RAND documented briefings are based on research presented to a client, sponsor, or targeted audience in briefing format. Additional information is provided in the documented briefing in the form of the written narration accompanying the briefing charts. All RAND documented briefings undergo rigorous peer review to ensure that they meet high standards for research quality and objectivity. However, they are not expected to be comprehensive and may present preliminary findings. Major research findings are published in the monograph series; supporting or preliminary research is published in the technical report series.
This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit www.rand.org/pubs/permissions.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.