Time on Station (TOS) and Service Retainability
Minimum TOS requirements exist to provide continuity to a members unit and, to the degree possible, reasonable periods of stable family life for Air Force members. Further, upon selection for PCS, a member must have or be able to obtain certain minimum periods of obligated service depending on the type of PCS move. This committed service retainability ensures a member has a period of active duty remaining long enough to offset the costs associated with a PCS. It also provides continuity to the gaining unit and stability to members and their families following PCS. Some types of PCSs require TOS periods or obligated service periods more or less than the normal limits. Refer to AFI 36-2110 for the TOS and retainability requirements for specific types of PCS.
CONUS to CONUS. For most PCS moves within the CONUS, career airmen (those who have re-enlisted at least once) must have at least 36 months of TOS, and FTA must have at least 12 months of TOS. Special circumstances, such as completion of a training course in PCS status, have different TOS minimums. The service retainability requirement for a CONUS-to-CONUS PCS is 24 months regardless of career status. In other words, to move from one state-side base to another, one must have at least two years remaining on their enlistment period (or be willing to extend their enlistment so they have at least two years remaining). Note: These TOS requirements have changed. for details, see Air Force Changes Assignment Policies.
CONUS to OS. FTA must have at least 12 months of TOS to go from CONUS to OS. Career airmen require 24 months of TOS before an OS PCS. When notified of PCS selection, members must have or be eligible to obtain sufficient service retainability to complete the full prescribed unaccompanied OS tour length. Members who do not have retainability may decline to obtain it or, if eligible, may retire instead of accepting a PCS. Declining to obtain retainability for PCS will affect a career airman by making him or her ineligible for promotion and reenlistment. FTA become ineligible for most voluntary assignments. Members who are eligible and desire that their dependents accompany them at Government expense during their OS tours must serve the accompanied by dependents OS tour length. This tour is normally longer than the unaccompanied tour. Electing to serve the longer accompanied tour requires the member to obtain the obligated service retainability for the longer tour. Members who are either ineligible or decline to obtain the service retainability for the accompanied tour length will not receive approval for dependent travel at Government expense or command sponsorship.
OS to OS. If a member is serving OS and is a volunteer for a PCS consecutive OS tour or in-place consecutive OS tour, the member must complete the full prescribed tour at the current location and the full prescribed OS tour at the new location or another full tour in place.
OS to CONUS. Reassignment from OS to CONUS requires the member to have or obtain at least 12 months of obligated service retainability. Members who do not have retainability will, in most cases, be retained in the OS area involuntarily until their date of separation (DOS) and returned to the CONUS for separation.
Enlisted Quarterly Assignments Listing (EQUAL) and EQUAL-Plus
EQUAL provides airmen a listing of the assignment requirements available for upcoming assignment cycles and allows airmen the opportunity to align personal preferences to actual Air Force needs. The listing identifies what assignments are available, by AFSC and grade, at particular locations. The EQUAL-Plus supplements the EQUAL and is used to advertise requirements for special duty assignments, joint/departmental assignments, short-notice OS assignments, and all CMSgt assignments. EQUAL-Plus shows upcoming requirements, any special qualifications an airman needs to be eligible for selection, the available locations, reporting instructions, and points of contact for additional information. Both lists can be viewed on the HQ AFPC worldwide Web page at http://www.afpc.randolph.af.mil. (Note: You must be active duty Air Force to access this online).