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.
Select Airmen in specific categories who were not formerly eligible for fiscal 2014 force management voluntary separation are now being offered voluntary separation. These individuals will not be subject to involuntary programs in fiscal 2014.
Officers from 33 Air Force specialty codes by year group and enlisted Airmen from seven AFSCs by grade are now eligible to apply for voluntary force management programs, such as voluntary separation pay, limited active duty service commitment waivers and more, Air Force Personnel Center officials said. In addition, officers in 70 AFSCs by year group and enlisted members in 178 AFSCs by grade are no longer eligible to apply for voluntary programs, and they will not meet an involuntary board in fiscal 2014.
As with all voluntary force management programs, being eligible to apply does not guarantee that an Airman will be approved, said Col. Joe Atkins, operations division chief. Air Force mission needs will determine how many Airmen are approved.
The changes are the result of already approved retirements and separations, as well as adjustments to the overall manpower requirements, Atkins said.
Acting Deputy Secretary of Defense Christine Fox spoke at Air University’s Air War College about budget constraints and sequestration in relation to the Air Force’s role in the Defense Department, the importance of technology and innovation April 3.
Before speaking to the agenda, Fox shared her condolences to those affected by the Fort Hood, Texas, shooting April 2.
“Nothing is more important to the Defense Department as an institution than the safety and wellbeing of our people,” Fox said. “We’ll do everything that we can to support the victims and their families, and all of our people.”
In light of these events, the budget and strategy have to be addressed because they support not only the DOD’s role in ensuring the nation’s strategic imperatives are met, but the service members as well, she said.
As the defense strategy shifts from land wars in the Middle East, she said Airmen will experience gains and challenges in defending new security threats in an advancing technological arena, as well as shifting focus to the Pacific, while taking every opportunity to sustain and secure allies.
The Defense Department recently updated its immunization guidelines, requiring all service members to receive the hepatitis B virus immunizations.
Since 2002, the Air Force has administered the vaccination to new recruits. Most deploying Airmen and health care workers have also received the vaccination. However, about 10 percent of the active-duty force has not yet been vaccinated. Hepatitis B is a potentially fatal liver disease spread by contaminated blood or body fluids.
The hepatitis B vaccine is given in 3 doses.
Dose 1 is given.
Dose 2 must be given at least 30 days after dose 1.
Dose 3 must be given at least 60 days after dose 2, and at least 120 days after dose 1.
The Aeromedical Services Information Management System has been updated to comply with this requirement. The requirement for a hepatitis B vaccination began appearing on service members’ individual medical readiness lists on March 28. Airmen have 365 days to complete the three-shot series before they are flagged for non-compliance.
Air Force officials announced the creation of a new program April 4, designed to harness Airmen’s innovation.
Airmen Powered by Innovation, or API, will replace three existing Air Force “good idea” programs – the Innovative Development through Employee Awareness, Productivity Enhancing Capital Investment, and Best Practices programs – and expand the role of Air Force Smart Operations for the 21st Century.
“API will consolidate the benefits of each program and simplify the process for submitting ideas, making it easier for our Airmen at the lowest levels to effect change across the entire Air Force,” said David Tillotson, the Air Force deputy chief management officer.
Installations’ manpower offices will be responsible for assisting and supporting Airmen as they submit ideas. In addition to gaining efficiencies by consolidating existing programs, API will also offer Airmen increased access to assistance prior to submitting ideas and institute a top-down tracking requirement, which includes confirming and documenting savings realized from implementing Airmen’s ideas.