WASHINGTON, November 27, 2013 (AFNS) – The Air Force will implement new personnel policies to posture for future force management programs as it prepares to become smaller, officials announced today.
In the absence of Congressional direction to mitigate the impact of sequestration, the Air Force must proceed with changes to personnel policies and force management programs to meet reduced end-strength targets in a smaller budget, said Brig. Gen. Gina Grosso, director of force management policy.
During his testimony to the House Armed Services Committee in September, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III said the long-term impacts of sequestration could force the service to cut about 25,000 Airmen over the next several years.
According to Grosso, the exact number of personnel reductions is not known yet, but will be released in the President’s FY15 budget to Congress, which usually occurs in the February-April timeframe.
These reductions require adjustments in personnel policies and aggressive force management measures that will shape the future force today in accordance with today’s fiscal realities, she said. The other services also recently announced programs to target their force reductions that result from sequestration.
“To meet Department of Defense strategic guidance for a leaner force, we must begin moving toward the future force,” said Grosso. “As the Air Force becomes smaller, it is more important than ever to use all available force management tools.”
The Air Force plans to make changes to many personnel policies in anticipation of the reductions to include changes in Selective Reenlistment Bonus eligibility, enlisted retraining quotas, enlisted and officer promotion rates and some officer accession programs. Details on each of these programs will be released in the coming weeks.
Grosso also said she expects the Air Force to implement additional force management programs.
“Some force management programs we are considering are new and others we’ve used before,” Grosso said. “Once the details of the additional force management programs are finalized, we will announce the programs to allow Airmen time to consider the options and discuss those options with their families.”
It is important for supervisors at every level to make time to discuss options with their impacted Airmen as specific programs roll-out and to provide honest, frank, feedback on their performance, said Grosso. Airmen should also review their records and ensure they are accurate and up-to-date.
“We understand these changes will not be easy for anyone,” Grosso said, “however providing Airmen feedback and information will help them make informed decisions based on what is best for them and their families during these times of fiscal uncertainty.”