Editor’s Note: The “People First” section is compiled from information from the Air Force Personnel Center, TRICARE, 56th Force Support Squadron, Airman and Family Readiness Flight, Veterans Affairs, the civilian personnel office and armed forces news services. For the complete story, go to the web address listed at the end of the story.
Air Force leaders announced a resumption of all force management programs Saturday following a recently discussed strategic pause.
“After providing senior leadership a chance to evaluate the programs and assess our early progress, we are ready to resume immediate processing of voluntary applications in most categories and begin notifying Airmen of their status,” said Lt. Gen. Sam Cox, the Air Force deputy chief of staff for manpower, personnel and services. “We expect to receive final approval authorities early next week for a select few categories, like rated and health professions, at which point we will be actively processing all voluntary applications.”
Notifications to Airmen could start as early as Monday, the general said.
Cox also confirmed previously announced force management boards would proceed as currently scheduled. The eligible populations for those boards will remain the same with the exception of a small group of about 500 Airmen who will no longer be eligible for the current voluntary or involuntary programs. Those individuals will be personally notified of their eligibility status by the Air Force Personnel Center.
Starting June 1, Airmen deployed to several locations will see significant changes to pay programs.
The biggest change includes the discontinuation of imminent danger pay, or IDP, in multiple countries.
The Defense Department-wide announcement impacts Airmen deployed to 15 countries.
“The IDP recertification process is an assessment that includes input from combatant commands, the joint staff and the military services,” said Lt. Col. Kevin Naman, of the Air Force Compensation and Travel Policy Division. “The resulting discontinuation of IDP at a certain location by no means diminishes the hard work and sacrifices our Airmen make at these locations daily.”
Locations where IDP designation is discontinued include:
The six land areas and the airspace above Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Serbia and Montenegro
The nine land areas of East Timor, Haiti, Liberia, Oman, Rwanda, Tajikistan, United Arab Emirates, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan
The water and air space above the Persian Gulf
Air Force officials released force structure changes March 10 resulting from the fiscal 2015 president’s budget being announced March 4.
To ensure the service successfully transitions to a leaner force that remains ready, the Air Force plans to remove almost 500 aircraft across the inventories of all three components over the next five years.
“The fiscal 2015 budget request favors a smaller and more capable force – putting a premium on rapidly deployable, self-sustaining platforms that can defeat more technologically advanced adversaries,” said Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, at a recent fiscal 2015 budget preview.
“As we built the force structure plan associated with the fiscal 2015 budget request, we attempted to strike the delicate balance of a ready force today and a modern force tomorrow, while working to ensure the world’s best Air Force is the most capable at the lowest possible cost to the taxpayer,” said Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James. “This force structure plan balances capability, readiness and capacity, and prioritizes global, long-range capabilities and multirole platforms required to operate in a highly contested environment.”
Feedback on “Transition GPS,” which prepares service members to enter the civilian workforce, indicates it improves on the program it replaced, the director of the Defense Department’s Transition to Veterans Program office said March 11.
Transition GPS – for goals, plans and success – is a redesigned, weeklong curriculum that replaces the Transition Assistance Program with a more in-depth approach that is a “significant improvement,” Susan Kelly said.
Participating service members give high marks to the Transition GPS program, she said.
“We have received very positive reviews from the service members,” Kelly said. “They’re telling us they’ll use the content to prepare for transition, use it after they separate, (and) they know how to access resources they’re going to need before and after they separate. That’s a very positive outcome for the program so far.”