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News > AF announces additional force management programs
AF announces additional force management programs

Posted 12/13/2013   Updated 12/13/2013 Email story   Print story


from Air Force News Service

12/13/2013 - Washington D.C. -- -- U.S. Air Force leaders announced Dec. 11 the implementation of force management programs designed to reduce the force by thousands of Airmen and civilian personnel over the next five years.

Fiscal year 2014 force management initiatives are in addition to the announcement made in July, stating the Air Force will implement several force management programs to meet budget-reduction requirements.

During a testimony to the House Armed Services Committee in November, Gen. Mark A. Welsh III, Air Force chief of staff, said long-term impacts of sequestration could force the service to cut roughly 25,000 Airmen over the next five years.

Air Force leaders made the decision to announce the overall strategic plan so Airmen have the necessary time to consider all their career options.

"The difference from years past is we announced voluntary programs first, then involuntary," said Lt. Gen. Samuel Cox, staff for Manpower, Personnel and Services deputy chief. "This year, due to the limited timeframe, we're announcing all programs at once to allow Airmen time to consider their options and ensure their personnel records are up to date."

Several programs will be announced in the coming weeks, and boards will consider an Airman's entire record of performance and will be conducted in accordance with Air Force promotion board standards. These programs only apply to active-duty Airmen.

Enlisted programs

The chief master sergeant retention board will include two phases. During phase one, chiefs in specific specialties may apply for voluntary retirement in lieu of meeting a retention board. Chiefs with 20 years of total active federal military service from identified overage career fields who do not apply for retirement before the phase one window closes Mar. 15, 2014, will be considered by the board, Cox said.

The quality force review board will look at senior master sergeants and below with a negative quality indicator code. Negative codes include reporting identifiers, grade status reasons, reenlistment eligibility or assignment availability codes. For a complete list of codes, visit the MyPers website once the Personnel Services Delivery Memorandum is released.

Airmen who have declined to obtain retainability for permanent change of station, temporary duty assignment, training, deployments or promotion will be looked at under the Date of Separation, or DOS, rollback program.

Voluntary separation pay applies to Airmen on the active-duty list with more than six years, but no more than 20 years of total active federal military service, and will be offered to enlisted retention board eligible Airmen as a voluntary incentive prior to the boards.

The enlisted retention-boards will look at senior airmen through senior master sergeants in overage Air Force specialty codes with a date of rank of Jan. 1, 2013 or earlier. Senior NCOs with a minimum of 20 years total active federal military service by the mandated retirement date will also be considered by the board.

Officer programs

Force shaping boards will consider active-duty officers with more than three but less than six years of commissioned service as of Dec. 31, 2014, for separation and will target career fields and year groups based on sustainment levels.

Overages in the officer corps will require the force to conduct an "Enhanced Selective Early Retirement Board." An ESERB allows the Air Force to consider retirement eligible active-duty officers below the rank of colonel, lieutenant colonels deferred for promotion and colonels with two to four years time in grade. By law, the Air Force will select no more than 30 percent for each grade in each competitive category.

Voluntary separation pay will be offered to active-duty officers with six or more years total active federal military service as a voluntary incentive prior to the meeting a board. A reduction in force, or RIF, board will consider regular officers below the grade of lieutenant colonel who have served at least one year of active duty in their current grade, are not on a promotion list and have six or more years total active commissioned service and less than 18 years of total active federal military service.

Active-duty Air Force-wide programs

Officers and enlisted personnel in over-manned career fields with more than 15, but less than 20, years of service will be eligible for Temporary Early Retirement Authority, or TERA. The Air Force will offer TERA starting January 2014.

These measures are part of the Air Force's comprehensive Force Management Program designed to shape the future force.

Civilian programs

The Air Force will also reduce the size of its civilian workforce by roughly 900 positions to meet the demands of a constrained fiscal 2014 budget, officials announced.

Specific reductions by location have not yet been determined.

The Air Force will implement civilian workforce shaping initiatives, along with continued targeted hiring to comply with mandatory funding targets and to rebalance the civilian workforce to meet skill demands for fiscal year 2014 and beyond.

"The Defense Department used administrative furloughs to meet civilian pay budget demands in the compressed time frame between sequestration and the end of the FY13," said Brig. Gen. Gina Grosso, Air Force force management policy director. "We will meet a similar budgetary challenge in FY14 through a reduced workforce."

The general added that the strategy to meet civilian pay budget targets does not include a furlough.

To reduce the number of employees assigned against previously and newly abolished positions, the Air Force plans to maximize the use of Voluntary Early Retirement Authority and Voluntary Separation Incentive Pay to entice employees to leave federal service voluntarily.
The programs offer early retirement for employees and up to $25,000 for employees who voluntary separate.

"Over the last couple of years, the Air Force has gone through significant civilian pay budget challenges," Grosso said. "By implementing voluntary programs now, we hope to mitigate future involuntary losses to the civilian workforce."

For information about civilian employment, reduction in force and other personnel issues, visit the myPers website.

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