ARLINGTON, Va. — The Air Force is seeking volunteers willing to spend a full year in Iraq to fill about 200 joint U.S. military jobs, most of them in Baghdad.

Although one-year tours are the norm for the Army, the positions are the first one-year rotations the Air Force has undertaken in Iraq.

Most Air Force deployments, which are managed under the service’s Air Expeditionary Force (AEF) cycles, are four months long — although some airmen with special skills that are in high demand, such as military police, can be deployed for six months.

U.S. Central Command officials asked the Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. John Jumper to extend some of its Iraq tours in order to provide “increased stability and continuity of operations” in certain positions, according to Saturday’s Air Force message about the extensions.

The jobs are a mix of enlisted and officer billets. Many of the positions are intelligence analysts, according to an Air Force list of openings, although transportation, personnel, budget and other support specialists are also in demand.

Air Force officials will first ask airmen who are currently filling the billets as part of their four-month AEF rotation if they would be willing to spend an additional eight months in Iraq, according to Air Force spokeswoman Jennifer Stephens.

But “we’re not going to make them stay,” Stephens said in a Tuesday telephone interview.

Instead, the Air Force is seeking volunteers for the jobs, followed by an involuntary selection to fill remaining slots, Stephens said.

Both volunteer and nonvolunteer replacements for the airmen now posted in Baghdad will start their new jobs in July and August, Stephens said.

The rotations are not technically a “short tour” because the United States and Iraq have not signed a Status of Forces Agreement, which normally covers permanent assignments, Stephens noted.

Instead, the one-year positions will fall under the category of “indeterminate length” temporary duty assignments, which allows the Air Force to offer entitlements that are not available for standard temporary assignments, such as priority for follow-on assignments.

Air Force officials will also give airmen short-tour credit for the Iraq assignments, as well as exempting them from their normal AEF or other contingency deployments for six months following their return home.

The Air Force is also offering family members standard short-tour benefits, such as the possibility of moving to the airman’s follow-on assignment location while their sponsor is in Iraq, Stephens said.

For more information on the Iraq one-year tours, contact your Air Force Personnel Flight, or click here.

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign up to receive a daily email of today's top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign Up Now