Air Force senior leaders directed a force-wide hiring freeze among other workforce actions in a memorandum sent to senior commanders Jan. 16.
The actions are part of the Air Force’s efforts to pursue reversible or recoverable steps to avoid impacts to core readiness caused by the looming possibility of sequestration and budgetary shortfalls.
Civilian pay makes up a large share of the Air Force’s operating budget. With budgetary uncertainty and a projected fiscal year 2013 $1.8 billion shortfall in the Air Force funding for overseas contingency operations, Air Force leadership is taking these immediate actions to reduce the force’s expenditure rate.
The temporary hiring freeze applies to all positions that are open to applicants outside the Air Force for permanent, temporary and term vacancies in all appropriations, according to the memo. Reassignments and promotions within the current work force will continue because they do not affect the current force size.
The memo, issued by Lt. Gen. Darrell Jones, deputy chief of staff for Manpower, Personnel and Services, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C., states hiring actions already in progress where a selection was made and an entry on duty date already established will continue, and set EODs may remain. External hiring actions where a job offer has not been made will be withdrawn. Exemptions from previous hiring controls do not carry over.
Additionally, commanders are directed to immediately release temporary employees, and not renew term employees. All temporary and term employees, to include reemployed annuitants that are not considered mission critical, should be separated in accordance with already established procedures.
More specific guidance on actions related to the civilian workforce hiring freeze and management of temporary and term employees is being developed and will be distributed through command channels as soon as details are available.
“These are uncharted waters concerning the federal budget and the effect it will have on the Air Force,” Jones said in the memo. “It is imperative we work closely together to balance mission needs and minimize impacts to our dedicated civilian employees and their families.”