The Air Force’s Fiscal 2012 mid-year list of selective re-enlistment bonuses identifies 53 specialties that will receive bonuses—down from 78 at the start of the fiscal year, according to service manpower officials. Airmen in stressed career fields, such as special operations; explosive ordnance disposal; tactical air control party; cryptological language analysis; and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, remain on the bonus list, issued last week. However, the Air Force eliminated bonuses for Zone E enlistees or for those airmen in the 18-year to 20-year range, said the officials in a July 19 release. The service also reduced overall bonus payments in most other career fields and enlistment zones. “We are facing the realities of high retention in many areas of the force, and government-wide budget deficits,” said Lt. Gen. Darrell Jones, lead for manpower issues on the Air Staff. He added, “These are difficult decisions—we need to be good managers of the most valuable resource in the Air Force, and that’s our dedicated airmen. But, we also need to be responsible stewards for the American taxpayer, and that means living within the budget.” The Fiscal 2013 list of bonus offerings is slated for release in October.
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.