Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group

Peterson Space Observer

21st SW plans for civilian restructuring

By Staff report

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — Following last week’s Air Force civilian reduction announcement, the 21st Space Wing is making plans to deal with the changes.

These reductions respond to the Secretary of Defense’s direction to target civilian funding at fiscal year 2010 levels.

“We value our talented and experienced workforce and are trying to do everything possible to manage these reductions with as little impact to our people as possible,” said Michael B. Donley, Secretary of the Air Force.

“I can assure you leaders on base are working to fill vacant positions. We are working together to minimize uncertainty and maximize options for our civilian total force partners,” said Col. Chris Crawford, 21st Space Wing commander. “We will continue to work with our civilians who may be directly impacted by these decisions to navigate this transition and achieve the best possible outcome.”

In an effort to encourage voluntary separations and retirements, the Air Force is currently offering its second round of voluntary separation incentive pay and voluntary early retirement authority programs. Civilian employees received VERA/VSIP eligibility surveys from the civilian personnel office earlier this month and applications are due no later than Feb. 3. Approved applications will result in resignations or retirements that take effect April 30.

To be eligible for VERA, employees must be at least 50 years old with 20 years of creditable service, or have 25 years of creditable service at any age.

Air Force officials are still evaluating the need for a reduction in force.

“At this time, we are surveying the workforce for a second round of VERA/VSIP and are in the midst of management reassignments resulting from the first round of the restructure,” said Brig. Gen. Gina Grosso, director of Manpower, Organization and Resources. “Once we exhaust all voluntary force management measures, a determination will be made whether or not a RIF is necessary. We hope to have more information in the spring.”

Employees occupying positions that have been eliminated will continue in their current roles and responsibilities until such time they are moved to another vacancy created as a result of either VERA/VSIP rounds or other attrition. The screening is continuous until such time a decision is made whether to conduct a RIF.

This announcement marks the end of civilian reductions associated with the Air Force’s FY12 civilian workforce restructure.

For more information on the additional cuts, contact the 21st SW civilian personnel office at 556-4775.

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