Some Active Duty airmen may be eligible for early retirement as part of the service’s ongoing force-shaping measures. Enlisted airmen who will have 15 years to 19 years of service in Fiscal 2012 and are in the grades of staff sergeant through master sergeant in specific overmanned career fields may apply for targeted early retirements starting Tuesday and through the end of April, said service manpower officials. They anticipate approving roughly 250 applications; these airmen will retire on Sept. 1, according to a Pentagon release. Use of the temporary early retirement authority “allows us to use a voluntary program to shape the force where we have overages in Air Force specialties,” said Maj. Gen. Sharon Dunbar, director of force management policy on the Air Staff. The release does not list the specialties being targeted. (See also Too Much of a Good Thing from Air Force Magazine’s 2011 archive.)
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.