The Air Force has adopted special duty assignment pay for most airmen serving in the explosive ordnance disposal career field to sustain this specialized force in the face of a steep decline in retention. According to an Air Force Personnel Center release Oct. 7, the EOD force has incurred a 30 percent decline in retention since 2002 due to the high operations temp of the EOD force and inherent dangers involved with this work. To counter this, the Air Force said it will make available an additional $3.5 million per year to support EOD personnel through Fiscal 2014. In addition to increasing selective re-enlistment bonuses, all EOD airmen will receive a monthly special duty assignment payment of $150 for senior airmen, $300 for staff sergeants, and $375 for technical through chief master sergeants. The Army and Navy have similar incentive programs to retain their EOD personnel.
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.