With goals met, Air Force ends 2008 ‘force shaping’ programs
Stars and Stripes March 22, 2008
ARLINGTON, Va. — The Air Force is on track to meet personnel downsizing goals for fiscal 2008, so all voluntary and involuntary “force shaping” programs are closing out for the remainder of the year, officials said.
This means that 852 Air Force lieutenants are no longer vulnerable to involuntary separation.
The Air Force notified the young officers in December that a selection board was going to meet starting March 30 at the Air Force’s Personnel Center at Randolph Air Force Base, Texas.
But that board, whose mission was to choose 124 members from the group of 852 for separation, has been canceled.
In addition to the involuntary separation board, a range of programs aimed at convincing personnel to leave the Air Force voluntarily are also ending, including three that all close March 31:
Limited Active Duty Service Commitment Waivers, which lets officers with at least 20 years of total active-duty service separate or retire before certain kinds of commitments have expired, such as tuition assistance or moving back to the United States from overseas;Palace Chase, which allows officers commissioned in 2005 to transfer to the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve to serve the remainder of their eight-year military commitment;The Voluntary Separation Pay program, which offers double the cash value of separation pay an officer will receive if selected by an involuntary reduction-in-force board.The Air Force is offering VSP to no more than 200 officers with 12 to 15 years service in fiscal 2008. To date, 87 applications have been approved, according to Air Force officials.
Two voluntary retirement programs will close April 30: one that allows some prior-service officers to retire with just eight years commissioned service; and which applies to lieutenant colonels and colonels requesting time-in-grade waivers with their retirement applications.
One program on the force shaping menu that remains open to both officers and enlisted personnel is the Blue to Green, which gives qualified applicants an opportunity to transfer into the Army, the announcement said.
This is the third year of a four-year force shaping master plan. About 25,500 officers and enlisted airmen were cut in the first two years. Another 17,000 are supposed to be cut in the final two years, so that Air Force can reach a self-imposed strength target of 316,500 by October 2009.
The goal of the plan, senior Air Force leaders say, is to reduce officer and enlisted personnel to pay for modernizing an aging fleet of aircraft.
For more information on the force shaping close-outs, go to Air Force Personnel Center’s Force Shaping Web site at http://ask.afpc. randolph.af.mil/forceshape