Saturday, January 06, 2007

Force Reshaping: Mid-Career Gutting Behind Schedule

Just got the word yesterday on how it goes with the AF's 'reshaping' scheme relative to the 'mid career' folks. I'll save my comments for my Part 5, but here is 'The Word' almost verbatim:

1. Force Shaping. On 26 Jul 06, the Force Shaping program was initiated with the release of Force Shaping Message #1.

This message announced the implementation of VSP for officers with between 6 and 12 years of service. Since the window opened, we have received more than 2,400 applications leading to just over 1,800 approved separations (only 57% of our 3,200 goal).

These results aren't entirely surprising since there haven't been any previous involuntary programs for the VSP eligible population. That has now changed with the recently approved NDAA that gives the services the authority to conduct a Reduction in Force (RIF) board.

2. Message #3. The attached message extends the application window for VSP until 31 Mar 07. It was originally scheduled to end on 31 Jan 07. It also expands eligibility to officers whose TFCSD is between 30 Sep 95 and 31 Dec 01. Most notably, the message announces a RIF board scheduled for 11-29 Jun 07.

The RIF board will convene to evaluate officers in overage career fields (as defined by the matrix located on AFPC's Force Shaping website) with between 6 and 12 years of active commissioned service for continued retention in the Air Force. Specifically, the board will consider year groups 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, and 2001.

The 1999 year group will be excluded as they will be in-the-promotion zone during this timeframe and historically, the Air Force hasn't considered officers for competitive promotion and involuntary separation during the same year. The RIF process is expected to achieve a reduction of approximately 1,000 officers. Additional VSP losses are also expected after announcement of the RIF.

This release is certain to cause many questions and consternation since this is the first use of RIF since the early 1990's. Hopefully we'll see an increase in VSP which reduce the numbers needed for the RIF board. Our goal remains voluntary over nonvoluntary actions.
"Our goal remains voluntary over nonvoluntary actions"? -- I do not think 'voluntary' means what whoever wrote this thinks it means.

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