Officials at Sheppard AFB, Tex., are urging civilian personnel there to ensure their paperwork is up to snuff as the base moves toward a Reduction in Force based on the long-awaited outsourcing decision released in late August. And, according to the Oct. 17 release, they believe all permanent civilians, not just those in designated A-76 Competitive Sourcing Study areas, should correct their personnel records, as needed. The study affects some 418 civilian and military positions in civil engineering, communications, trainer development, instructional training, and the fitness center. More than half are civilian employees, prompting a vow to protest by the American Federation of Government Employees union on the grounds that it took Sheppard far too long to complete the process, which it started in 1999 and which Congress said should only take 30 months or less. A date for the upcoming RIF is still in flux—best guess is late spring or early summer—since base officials say some A-76 actions haven’t been finalized. In at least one area, fitness center and trainer development, requests for bids already have favored the home-team, showing the Sheppard employees to be the most efficient organization, according to an Oct. 1 release. (Sheppard report by George Woodward)
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.