The Air Force Monday announced implementation of programs to help it hold civilian manning at 2010 levels, which reduces previously planned growth in its civilian workforce by about nine percent. According to USAF, reduced funding levels will support some 180,000 civilians as of Oct. 1. The service plans to offer civilian Voluntary Early Retirement Authority and Voluntary Separation Incentive Pay programs to “mitigate the impact of reduced Fiscal Year 2012 funding on our permanent civilian workforce,” said Maj. Gen. Sharon Dunbar, USAF’s director of force management policy, Sept. 19. The service implemented a 90-day hiring freeze in August and other hiring controls in the spring. Dunbar said the service must adjust its civilian workforce by about one percent in Fiscal 2012. “To do this, we’re postured to approve up to 6,005 VSIP applications along with implementing VERA,” explained Dunbar. (Air Force release by Debbie Gildea)
U.S. Air Force F-35s and F-22s regularly deploy deep into the Pacific region from Alaska, Utah, and Hawaii. In the future, though, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command would like to see the Air Force permanently station fifth-generation aircraft west of the international date line—closer to China.