WASHINGTON -- Airmen who met the service's reduction in force board were notified of the board's results Nov. 19, bringing the fiscal year 2014 force management programs to an end.
The RIF board selected 354 captains and majors across the Air Force for non-retention, half of the number the service previously projected it would separate.
Line of the Air Force captains in year groups 2006 through 2008 and line of the Air Force majors in year groups 2001 through 2003 across 20 Air Force specialties were considered. The board retained 1,976 of the 2,330 eligible officers. Those not selected for retention will separate by April 30 or retire, if eligible, by May 1.
"The RIF is just the latest example of the tough choices we've had to make given current budget constraints," said Lt. Gen. Sam Cox, the deputy chief of staff for manpower, personnel and services. "This has been a difficult year for everyone involved in the reductions. We've been forced to downsize and eliminate exceptional Airmen from our ranks."
Overall the Air Force has achieved goals from the fiscal 2014 force management initiatives in terms of sizing and shaping the Air Force to meet DOD strategic and budgetary guidance. As a result, all open voluntary force management program windows will close effective Nov. 30.
In closing the fiscal 2014 force management programs, the Air Force had 19,833 Airmen who separated or retired under one of the various programs. Of these, nearly 70 percent or 13,704 did so through voluntary force management programs.
"Although the majority of our Airmen made the decision to separate or retire voluntarily during our reductions," Cox said, "we lost a significant number of talented, trained Airmen who have and would have continued to make valuable contributions to our Air Force had we not otherwise had to make difficult budget decisions."
In fiscal 2014, the Air Force approved more than 13,700 applications for voluntary separation or retirement through a combination of programs. Both monetary and non-monetary incentives were available, including the use of the temporary early retirement authority, voluntary separation pay incentives, limited active-duty service commitment waivers, time-in-grade waivers, enhanced Palace Chase, and the Officer 10-8 Commission Waiver Program.
Voluntary programs resulted in:
A total of 3,210 officers and 10,494 enlisted Airmen retirements and separations;
538 officers and 2,507 enlisted Airmen approved for TERA;
1,107 officers and 3,422 enlisted Airmen approved for VSP; and
1,565 officers and 4,565 enlisted Airmen retirements and separations were approved through non-monetary incentives.
Additionally, since July 2013, more than 1,500 Airmen have made the commitment to continue their service in the Air Force Reserve or Air National Guard.
In early 2014, Air Force leaders decided to bolster manning for nuclear-related career fields. This action, coupled with approved voluntary applications, non-force management related retirements and separations and other adjustments to force structure resulted in significant reductions in the number of Airmen eligible to meet involuntary boards. The number of officer and enlisted Airmen eligible for involuntary programs was significantly reduced from almost 98,000 in January to approximately 16,800, who were ultimately considered for involuntary separation programs.
Involuntary officer programs resulted in:
5,072 officers meeting selective early retirement boards, enhanced selective early retirement boards, force shaping boards and the reduction in force boards;
462 officers were selected for early retirement;
568 officers were selected for separation.
Involuntary enlisted programs resulted in:
11,726 enlisted personnel eligible for date of separation (DOS) rollback, quality force review board (QFRB) and enlisted retention boards (ERBs);
143 enlisted Airmen separated under DOS rollback;
3,535 not selected for retention by the QFRB; and
1,421 not selected for retention under the ERBs.
Ultimately the voluntary and quality based programs reduced the numbers of involuntarily separated officer and enlisted Airmen to 5 and 7 percent of the total reductions, respectively.
"Reductions of this magnitude are never easy," Cox said. "We recognize and appreciate the tough decisions made by those Airmen and families who were personally impacted, as well as the supervisors and commanders charged with seeing these processes through. Our obligation at this point has been and will continue to be to do everything possible to assist our Airmen in their transition from active duty to the Reserve, (Air Guard) or civilian sector."
The Air Force is currently in the process of determining what, if any, fiscal 2015 force management programs will be required and will make a formal announcement in the coming weeks.
(Courtesy of Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs)