The Air Force announced the third round of civilian workforce shaping actions to meet the staffing reduction and headquarters organization goals.

These actions were planned “to eliminate redundant activities, improve efficiencies, and satisfy previous secretary of Defense direction to reduce management headquarters costs and staff levels by 20 percent,” according to an Air Force press release.

Debra Warner, director of the Air Force’s Civilian Force Policy, said “the Air Force is committed to sustaining excellence, meeting fiscal requirements and minimizing negative impacts on our current permanent civilian workforce and their families.”

The Air Force will rely on Voluntary Early Retirement Authority (VERA) and Voluntary Separation Pay (VSIP) in this latest round that started June 15. The first round was initiated in December 2013 and the second round in March 2014.

Last week employees began receiving VERA/VSIP interest surveys. Their responses are due by June 26. Employees selected for VERA/VSIP programs will have to separate by September 30, 2015.

Warner stressed that although “the Air Force is committed to using voluntary separation programs as much as possible,” reduction-in-force (RIF) may have to be used to meet reduction goals.

RIF procedures are used to “determine overage employee priority placement rights into position, as well as providing flexibility to waive qualifications and provide retained grade and pay if placed in a lower graded position,” according to the Air Force. Bases are set to begin their requests for approval to use FIR procedures if needed.