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Pacific Air Forces will shift 747 civilian and military job positions for fiscal 2004 and cut 1,101 jobs by 2009, a spokesman announced this week.

The move is the Pacific’s share under an Air Force-wide plan to realign 13,000 active-duty and civilian positions by the end of the decade, PACAF spokesman 1st Lt. David Faggard said in an e-mailed response.

Of the 1,101 positions to be cut by fiscal 2009, 908 are military and 193 are civilian.

No specific PACAF jobs to be affected have been named yet.

“The bottom line is that we’re not sure yet what bases, or career fields, this realignment will come from,” Faggard said. “We are committed to keeping the number of those who will be impacted by this as low as possible while not jeopardizing the mission.”

The shift comes as the Department of Defense tries to make the military more combat-ready. The Air Force announced last week it would earmark more troops for the service’s highest-priority missions.

Security and intelligence are two areas where more manpower is necessary, Air Force officials have said.

“This restructuring of manpower positions isn’t an attempt to reduce our overall end-strength,” Brig. Gen. W.P. “Bear” Ard, director of Air Force Manpower and Organization, said in a service news release. “Rather, it’s an effort to shape our work force to meet our future steady state.”

Congress decides how many civilian and military personnel each service can retain — a number referred to as “end-strength allocations.” If a service exceeds its yearly allocations, its personnel budget lacks money to pay those extra people.

Ard said it’s important that the Air Force’s military and civilian slots reflect everything from the number of those needed for deployments to new recruits.

Increased operations tempo, workload and security requirements created by the global war on terrorism also have prompted the Air Force to review its work force, Ard said.

Some jobs and functions will be eliminated, while other posts, likely in the areas of security forces and intelligence, will be increased.

Nine major air commands are working to identify about 9,300 military and 3,900 civilian positions to be realigned by 2010.

In addition to PACAF, the major Air Force commands are Materiel, Air Combat, Air Education and Training, Space, Special Operations, Air Mobility, Air Reserve and U.S. Air Forces Europe.

The personnel shifts are aimed at making airmen available for expeditionary duties in operations, maintenance and combat support areas, Air Force officials have said. This will help the Air Force relieve some of the stress on the most critical career fields.

“Throughout this whole process, we’re committed to making the impact on our people as minimal as possible,” Ard said.

People whose positions have been identified for realignment will be able to use a wide array of personnel programs.

For servicemembers, the programs include career job reservation, retraining and priority placement.

For civilians, options include voluntary early retirement authority and the voluntary separation incentive program.

Challenges have forced the Air Force to make some tough choices, according to William H. Booth, senior adviser in the Air Force’s Directorate of Manpower and Organization.

“We’ve been directed by the secretary of Defense to conduct a review of our entire work force … to accurately determine our ability to meet mission requirements,” Booth said in an Air Force news release.

He said the review will give the secretary of the Air Force information needed to seek an increase in end-strength numbers, if needed, from Congress.


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