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New guidelines for augmentee program allow flexibility

By Staff Sgt. C. Todd Lopez

WASHINGTON (Sept. 06, 2002) -- Air Force commanders now have more flexibility in running base augmentee programs as a result of recent changes by personnel officials at the Pentagon.

The Resource Augmentation Duty, or READY, program was replaced Aug. 1 with a voluntary set of guidelines, a move meant to help commanders develop their own version, said Bill Ray of the office of readiness and joint matters in the Air Force directorate of personnel.

"Each installation is different in its structure and physical layout," he said. "One augmentee program [designed] to fit all produced many inefficiencies. This change allows commanders to set up a program that runs effectively for their organization."

Formerly a mandatory program, READY gave commanders a means to identify, train and track personnel to meet short-term augmentee needs for installation-level exercises, contingencies, wartime, and emergency situations. The new guidelines contained in Air Force Pamphlet 10-243, which replaces Air Force Instruction 10-217, are based on experience with the former READY program, Ray said.

"We did not want to lose the knowledge we gained through the READY program," Ray said. "Lessons learned from the READY program are captured in AFPAM 10-243 and are available for commanders to use at their discretion."

The elimination of the former program is not likely to affect the number of bases that continue to use augmentees, he said, adding that many airmen will notice no change at all.

"Most commanders realize they need an augmentation program," Ray said. "Rescinding [the READY program] does not negate that need. It simply eliminates the required standardized structure throughout the Air Force."