Hundreds of RAF staff will be sacked this week, with workers supporting operations in Libya at risk of the axe.
Ground crew and support staff will not be immune from the job cuts, although the posts of pilots flying missions in Libyan airspace are protected.
The redundancies mark the first wave of the coalition's cuts to service personnel as part of the effort to tackle the deficit and bring the defence budget under control.
Almost 1,000 RAF personnel will find out on Thursday whether they have lost their jobs, along with a similar number from the Army.
The plans to cut the posts were announced earlier this year and form part of a programme which could see 11,000 redundancies across the RAF, Army and Royal Navy by April 2015.
Personnel receiving the operational allowance, serving on the front lines in Libya and Afghanistan, will be exempt from the sack. But support staff could still lose their jobs.
A Ministry of Defence spokeswoman said: "Anyone in receipt of operational allowance on the day redundancy notices are issued is not eligible to be made redundant unless they apply.
"This includes personnel operating within the landmass, airspace and territorial waters of Libya."
Soldiers who are deployed in Afghanistan, about to deploy to the country or who have recently returned from duty there are also protected from redundancy.