COMUSAFE talks headquarters reductions

by Capt. Sybil Taunton

In line with the Secretary of Defense’s direction to cut 20 percent of Air Force headquarters budget, and with the creation of the Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center, U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa has lost approximately 346 positions from its unit manning document.

Gen. Frank Gorenc discussed these reductions during a USAFE-AFAFRICA commander’s call Aug 29.

Approximately 226 positions will be reduced to support establishment of the AFIMSC, and 10 positions will be reduced to support additional workload consolidation to Air Force Personnel Command. Roughly 110 positions have been eliminated for the required headquarters reduction, and some of these positions are not currently filled.

“It is really important for people to understand that these are positions that have gone away and not people,” said Gorenc. “The Air Force has already approved funding to keep civilian and host nation employees in affected positions through Fiscal Year 15, and military personnel will remain in place until their Date Eligible for Return from Overseas [DEROS].”

With the combination of transferred and eliminated positions, the USAFE-AFAFRICA headquarters staff is losing a total of 23 percent of its officer positions, 27 percent of enlisted billets, and 23 percent of the civilian positions.

“Our Manpower team is currently conducting a survey to evaluate the impact of these reductions,” said Gorenc. “As we collect this data and you realize you can no longer do the job you are being asked to do, then let us know and we will fix it.”

To reduce the need for involuntary separation measures for civilian personnel whose positions have not been transferred, Voluntary Early Retirement Authority and Voluntary Separation Pay Incentive options will be available. All efforts will be made to place civilian personnel whose positions have been eliminated and do not qualify for VERA/VSIP.

“We want to assure everyone involved with this process that we remain committed to mitigating the impact during this transition, and I will be as transparent as possible with the things we are doing,” said Gorenc.

A town hall led by the 86th Force Support Squadron, Civilian Personnel flight chief, was held recently for those civilians in identified positions. Briefings were given and followed by a question and answer session to ensure everyone was fully informed.

Affected civilian personnel are encouraged to schedule appointments with the 86th Force Support Squadron human relations specialists to discuss specific options and details associated with their positions.

More information along with a list of frequently asked questions regarding these reductions can be found on the 86th FSS Civilian Personnel website:  Employees can schedule appointments with HR specialists and submit inquiries by email to