U.S. Air Forces in Europe on Wednesday informed 27 company- and field-grade officers they are being axed from active duty. The news was exacerbated by the fact that those cut will receive far less in financial compensation than peers who separated voluntarily.

As part of the Air Force’s ongoing efforts to slice thousands from its rolls, senior officers from across USAFE delivered the news to more than two dozen captains and majors, according to USAFE spokeswoman Capt. Davina Petermann.

That number includes officers who are both transitioning into and out of the European command, she said. Approximately 30 percent of the 90 officers eligible for separation were cut, Petermann said. All told, the Air Force let go 306 of some 1,200 captains and majors who were evaluated for involuntary separation.

Those evaluated were majors commissioned in 1995 and 1996 as well as captains commissioned in 2000 and 2001.

Of the first group, majors serving in communications, aircraft maintenance and space and missile programs were the most likely to be cut. Majors serving in intelligence, security forces and logistical readiness faced no possibility of getting cut, according to statistics provided by the Air Force Personnel Center.

Of the captains, aircraft maintenance, communications, public affairs, personnel and finance were most likely to be cut. The Air Force planned to release a combined 45 captains who serve as scientists and acquisition managers, according to the Air Force Personnel Center.

The selected officers have to be out of the Air Force no later than Jan. 29, 2008, and will receive severance packages that equate to exactly half of what officers who separated voluntarily received, according to Air Force Personnel Center spokeswoman Paige Hughes. Thousands of officers have taken advantage of voluntary separation offers offered by the Air Force, which included severance packages that can exceed $100,000. Last year, 850 Air Force 1st and 2nd lieutenants were “force shaped” in the initial phase of a plan to trim about 8,000 officers, including 30 generals, from the Air Force roster by Sept. 29.

Separation package

Involuntary separation pay package formula: 10 percent of 12 times the amount of monthly basic pay to which an officer is entitled at the time of separation from active duty, multiplied by the years and full months of active military service. Each full month of active military service that is in addition to the number of full years of active military service will be counted as one-twelfth of a year. Disregard any remaining fractional part of a month.

All payments will be paid in a lump sum approximately three weeks following the date of separation.

Source: Air Force Personnel Center

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