The Air Force announced the final 4,500 to be eliminated under the FY2012 Civilian Workforce Restructure plan, implemented last fall to realign manpower resources to match critical missions and priorities.
These workforce reductions are in addition to the 9,000 civilian positions in management and support areas announced in November 2011. The goal is to trim manpower costs to the FY2010 level to comply with direction from Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta.
The plan also adds 5,900 positions to Air Force high priority areas (acquisition, nuclear programs, and Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance) identified for growth under the Air Force’s comprehensive strategic review.
The Air Force has implemented the Voluntary Early Retirement Authority (VERA) and Voluntary Separation Incentive Program (VSIP) to encourage voluntary retirements and separations. The second round of VERA and VSIP is currently being offered. Eligibility surveys have been distributed and applications are due February 3. Separations or retirements approved under these plans will be effective April 30.
Air Force officials hope that implementation of VERA and VSIP along with the recently-concluded 90-day hiring freeze and reductions to temporary and term employees will obviate the need for a Reduction I Force (RIF). However, they are still evaluating the situation.
According to Brig. Gen. Gina Grasso, Director of Manpower, Organization, and Resources, “once we exhaust all voluntary force management measures, a determination will be made whether or not a RIF is necessary. We hope to have more information in the spring.”