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Joint tasking situations arise when the "preferred provider" service (usually the Army) has insufficient personnel to meet a certain need and another military service is required to fill it. Since 2004, the U.S. Air Force has provided personnel for "joint sourcing solution" assignments in Iraq and Afghanistan, in addition to supplying military support under its planned Air Expeditionary Force construct for ongoing major combat operations in the U.S. Central Command region. As a result, certain Air Force career fields are experiencing deployment strains beyond what would be expected under planned Air Expeditionary Force deployments. A better understanding of the impact of fulfilling new requirements will help the Air Force make resource allocation decisions that will ensure that it can satisfy the full range of demands for its capabilities. Air Force personnel and deployment data were used to populate a RAND-developed model that compares the supply of Air Force personnel and various types of capabilities to demand for them as outlined in requests for forces. Because the impact of these requirements on individuals, units, specific career fields, combat support capabilities, and the Air Force as a whole is not well understood, such a model potentially offers valuable insights to allow the Air Force to assess and forecast its ability to satisfy demands for its personnel and capabilities.

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The research described in this report was sponsored by the United States Air Force and conducted by RAND Project AIR FORCE.

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