ARLINGTON, Va. — Air Force officials lifted stop-loss restrictions Wednesday for more than half of the airmen affected by a policy that prevented 21,000 from retiring or separating.

The Air Force announced March 13 stop-loss restrictions affecting 99 career fields — 43 officer and 56 enlisted.

But after a review of deployment requirements, Air Force officials decided to drop restrictions on 31 officer career fields and 20 enlisted career fields, according to Air Force spokeswoman Jennifer Stephens.

About 6,000 airmen are released under Wednesday’s action, while 15,000 remain under stop-loss restrictions, Stephens said.

The Marine Corps issued a servicewide stop-loss lift Monday. The Air Force was expected to follow suit, but not as soon as Wednesday.

“It was a fast-moving train that began moving at warp speed,” Stephens said in telephone interview Wednesday afternoon.

The Army plans to lift stop loss for active-duty soldiers within the next two weeks, an Army official who asked not to be named told Stripes on Monday. As of Wednesday, there was no further information on the timing of that lift.

But the Army did release details Wednesday concerning a phased lift of the stop-movement order that now affects all active-duty soldiers deployed to Iraq.

The phased lift affects all soldiers whose plans to move stations or attend a service school were frozen in January, when Army officials said that units identified in the Pentagon’s secret war plans for Operation Iraqi Freedom were under stop-movement orders.

There are about 160,000 soldiers now deployed in the Middle East to support Operation Iraqi Freedom, the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marine Gen. Peter Pace, told Congress on Wednesday.

A military personnel message to the troops that was released Wednesday says that Army officials have decided to give all soldiers coming home from Iraq a 90-day “stabilization” period before they execute any planned permanent change of station.

But soldiers can waive that period, the message says.

The message also spells out in great detail how Operation Iraqi Freedom soldiers should now report to deferred commands and schools.

For example, officers and warrants that were expecting to move to new assignments will be reshuffled in three phases:

Phase one affects officers with old report dates of June 1 to June 30, whose new report date is Aug. 31.Phase two affects officers with old report dates of July 1 to July 31, whose new report date is also Aug. 31.Phase three affects officers with old report dates of Aug. 1 to Aug. 31. Their new report date will be determined in June.For the entire Army stop movement message, go to

The Navy does not have changes to announce to its targeted stop loss, which only affects hospital corpsmen, a Navy official said Wednesday.

Air Force stop-loss

The Air Force announced Wednesday a partial lift of the stop-loss order the service enacted March 13. Airmen with the following Air Force Specialty Codes will no longer be held back:

Officer Specialties

11BX Bomber Pilot11EX Test Pilot11FX Fighter Pilot11HX Helicopter Pilot11KX Trainer Pilot12BX Bomber Navigator12EX Test Navigator12FX Fighter Navigator12KX Trainer Navigator12RX Recce/Surv/Elect Warfare Navigator12TX Tanker Navigator13BX Air Battle Manager13DXA Combat Rescue13DXB Special Tactics32EX Civil Engineer43EX Bioenvironmental Engineer43HX Public Health43TX Biomedical Laboratory44EX Emergency Services Physician44MX Internist45AX Anesthesiologist45BX Orthopedic Surgeon45SX Surgeon46FX Flight Nurse46MX Nurse Anesthetist46NXE Critical Care Nurse46SX Operating Room Nurse48AX Aerospace Medicine Specialist48GX General Medical Officer48RX Residency Trained Flight Surgeon51JX Judge Advocate

Enlisted Specialties

1C2XX Combat Control1C4XX Tactical Air Command & Control1S0XX Safety1T1XX Aircrew Life Support3E000 Electrical (CEM)3E0X2 Electrical Power Production3E4X1 Utilities Systems3E4X2 Liquid Fuels Systems Maintenance3E5X1 Engineering3E7X1 Fire Protection3E8X1 Explosive Ordnance Disposal3E9X1 Readiness3H0X1 Historian3N0XX Public Affairs & Radio/TV Broadcasting4A1XX Medical Material4A2XX Biomedical Equipment4B0XX Bioenvironmental Engineering4E0XX Public Health4H0XX Cardiopulmonary Laboratory5J0X1 Paralegal

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign up to receive a daily email of today's top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign Up Now