NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — Changing global missions, national security concerns and ongoing budget uncertainty are driving the Air Force to become a leaner force.
Officers and enlisted service members are facing force management programs designed to reduce the force as much as by 25,000 Airmen, 900 civilians and 550 aircraft during the next five years.
The 99th Force Support Squadron Military Personnel Section held briefings at the base theater Dec. 18 to provide Airmen with the information they need to make informed decisions.
“The Air Force continues to retain high quality Airmen at significant rates. As a result, many specialties and grades will grow out of balance by the end of the fiscal year. The Air Force needs to start shaping the force to meet Department of Defense strategic guidance for a leaner force.”
said Lt. Col. Tammy Johnson, 99th FSS commander. “To do this, the Air Force will use every available force shaping tool and do everything it can to maximize voluntary programs, including offering monetary separation incentives. However, given the large reduction necessary, it is unlikely that the Air Force will get enough voluntary losses to meet the requirements.”
Although not every airman will qualify for the voluntary or involuntary programs, Airmen should always make sure their personal records are up to date.
“Make sure your personnel records are in order, nothing is missing, all information is correct,” said Senior Master Sgt. Lamicia Bailey, 99th FSS military personnel section superintendent. “Perform a records review through the Personal Record Display Application [located on the Air Force Portal].”
According to the 99th FSS, Airmen need to educate themselves, and have a “Plan B” in place.They need to know their options, and honestly assess what their records look like compared to their peers,” said Bailey. “The urgency of the town hall meetings was by design. It was intended to educate Airmen and allow time to discuss career decisions with the family.”
According to Chief Master Sgt. Bradley Behling the Dec. 11 rollout of programs will be in effect during the next five years.
“It is critical that Airmen educate themselves and discuss career options with supervision and family,” he said.
The 99th FSS will update Airmen as new information becomes available, including several programs to be announced in the coming weeks. All Airmen eligible for the programs will be contacted directly.
Enlisted only 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 will be considered by the board. The phase one window closes Mar. 15, 2014,
The Quality Force Review board will look at senior master sergeants and below with a negative quality indicator code. Negative quality codes include reporting identifiers, grade status reasons, reenlistment eligibility, or assignment availability codes. For a complete list of codes, Airmen should visit the MyPers website once the Personnel Services Delivery Memorandum for this program is released.
Airmen who have declined to obtain retainability for PCS, TDY, retraining and training, deployments or promotion will be looked at under the Date of Separation 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 retention 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 of total active federal military service by the mandated retirement date will also be considered by the board.
Officer only 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, or ESERB. An ESERB allows the service to consider retirement eligible active-duty officers below the rank of colonel, lieutenant colonels once 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.
Officer and enlisted programs
Officers and enlisted 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, Phase II. The Air Force will offer TERA in fiscal 2014 with the application window starting in January 2014.
Along with Enlisted and Officers, the civilian workforce is also expected to feel the effects of the programs.
“For the civilian force there will be about 900 civilian positions cut,” Bailey said. “Seven thousand civilian positions will not being filled.”
These measures are part of the Air Force’s comprehensive Force Management Program designed to shape the future force.
For more information and force management, force shaping, reduction in force and other personnel programs, go to the myPers website at https://mypers.af.mil.
Editor’s note: Force management programs listing for fiscal year 2014 courtesy of Air Force Public Affairs Agency, Operating Location — Pentagon.