As promised, John James, the Pentagon’s point man for the transition of DOD civilian employees under the now-cancelled National Security Personnel System into the old General Schedule and other non-NSPS systems is moving more quickly than Congress dictated. In an update posted on the transition Web site, James said, “We are ahead of schedule and are maintaining a tight timeframe.” He now predicts some 75 percent of the 226,000 NSPS employees will make the switch by the end of September and the remainder in 2011, a year earlier than the Congressional timetable. According to briefing charts accompanying the update, DOD will transition some 59,000 employees through May and another 110,000 through September. That will leave about 56,000 to shift in 2011, many of those going into alternative systems, such as special acquisition and scientific and technology programs. (NSPS transition charts)
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.