50th Space Wing Public Affairs
Every day there seems to be a new story related to the state of the nation’s economy and its impact on a variety of sectors affecting Americans.
The stressed economy appears to be one reason more Airmen are choosing to remain on active duty in greater numbers. As a result the Air Force will exceed its end strength for Fiscal Year 2010 by more than 3,700 Airmen according to Air Force Personnel reports.
“Bottom line, we have exceeded our legal end strength,” said Col. Wayne Monteith, 50th Space Wing commander. “As an Air Force we have to take the appropriate steps to retain the proper balance of highly qualified and skilled Airmen.”
To counter the inflated end strength, the Air Force has developed a force management plan that includes voluntary options to preserve the Air Force’s warfighting capability while deliberately managing the force to address current and emerging missions.
Different options are available to Airmen based upon status and career field and include waiving time in grade requirements, applying for early separation or retirement, delayed enlistment and commissioning, as well as PALACE CHASE and Blue to Green options.
The main focus of these options is to target reductions of overage career fields to create the ability to develop the right force mix to meet current and future mission requirements.
“This is not blanket approval for early separation. This is a targeted reduction of overage career fields that ensures we do not exceed our congressionally mandated end strength. The mission comes first and all separation applications will be evaluated against the impact the loss will have on the mission,” cautioned Colonel Monteith.
Personnel interested in pursuing these options need to work with their chain of command and the base personnel staff to determine eligibility and how to apply. All approved applicants must have a separation date of Sept. 1, 2010 or earlier.
While the Air Force is looking to meet its legal end strength through this program, separated Airmen may still find options available to continue serving through civil service, Reserve and Guard positions.
For further information, contact the Military Personnel Section, Separations office, at DSN 560-4503 or 6237.