The Role of Deployments in Competency Development

Experience from Prince Sultan Air Base and Eskan Village in Saudi Arabia

by Laura Werber, Lawrence M. Hanser, Constance H. Davis


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In fall 2001, the RAND Corporation conducted a survey of officers and enlisted personnel who had recently returned from a deployment to Prince Sultan Air Base (PSAB) or Eskan Village in Saudi Arabia. This documented briefing reports the results of that effort, using survey data to consider the utility of a PSAB/Eskan deployment as a setting for broadening the skills and developing the competencies of Air Force staff. This briefing also addresses the larger issue of whether the learning that occurs during deployments merits tracking. The authors surveyed officers and enlisted personnel in the continental United States who had returned from a PSAB/Eskan deployment within the preceding 12 months. Respondents selected all the settings, including PSAB/Eskan, in which they learned a specific competency or skill. They then indicated the single “best” learning environment for that skill or competency. For the majority of the competencies and skills included in the survey, PSAB/Eskan deployment was frequently identified as a learning environment and in many cases the “best” learning environment.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One


  • Chapter Two

    Analytic Approach and the Survey Sample

  • Chapter Three

    PSAB/Eskan Deployment Is Best for Developing Some Competencies

  • Chapter Four

    PSAB/Eskan Is a Common Setting for Developing Some Competencies

  • Chapter Five


  • Appendix A

    RAND Survey: Where Are Skills and Characteristics Developed in the Air Force?

The research reported here was sponsored by the United States Air Force and was conducted within RAND Project AIR FORCE.

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