Air Force announces second round of buyouts, early retirements

Tuesday - 1/3/2012, 6:44pm EST

By Jack Moore
Federal News Radio
@jmooreWFED

The Air Force announced a second round of buyouts and early retirements for the service's civilian employees.

The Air Force said the second round of voluntary early retirement authority (VERA) and voluntary separation incentive pay (VISP) is part of the service's effort to keep civilian staffing at 2010 levels.

"The Air Force recognizes the invaluable contributions of our civilian workforce, but also recognizes the fiscal constraints under which the Department of Defense and the government as a whole are operating," said Maj. Gen. Sharon Dunbar, the director of force management policy, in a release. "We are working to balance mission needs while taking care to minimize the effect on our current permanent civilian workforce and their families."

Civilian Air Force employees will receive eligibility surveys beginning Jan. 9; applications are due Feb. 3. If approved, employees will need to leave by April 30.

As with the first round, which was offered to more than 6,000 employees, the latest early outs are voluntary and designed to help the service rebalance and restructure its workforce.

The latest round of early outs comes after a service-wide hiring freeze was lifted last month. In August, the Air Force instituted a 90-day freeze on new hires, which ended Dec. 16. However, some "hiring controls" remain in effect in some areas, the Air Force stated in a release.

"We are pursuing all available force management measures, to include civilian hiring controls, where required, with the goal of avoiding involuntary measures for our current permanent workforce," Dunbar said.

When the first tranche of buyouts and early retirements was announced in September, Lt. Gen. Darrell Jones, the Air Force's deputy chief of staff for manpower and personnel, said the voluntary exits would help stave off "adverse action" to the overall service.

"It's one early step in our plans to start reshaping the force and make sure we have the right individuals in the right specialties." Jones told Federal News Radio.

For a list of all federal agencies offering buyouts and early retirements in 2012, check out Federal News Radio's 2012 Buyout Guide.

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