USAFE-AFAFRICA considers reduction in forces actions

by Capt. Reba Good
U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa Public Affairs

Air Force officials announced April 17 that approximately 60 Air Force installations will implement the service’s civilian Reduction in Force authority effective through September to assist in the placement of employees not assigned against funded positions (termed “surplus employees”).

Manpower specialists estimate the RIF may affect up to 20 employees in United States Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa.

However, the final number of employees selected for involuntary separation will not be determined until the RIF process closes.

According to the Air Force, the decision to conduct a civilian RIF depends on whether each installation has a surplus number of employees, but these employees may not necessarily be placed for involuntary separation. If affected, employees will receive notification at least 60 days prior to adverse action.

The USAFE-AFAFRICA Personnel Division is exploring all options to minimize the impact of the RIF and is researching incentive offers for surplus employees to voluntarily separate or retire, according to Monique Botting, USAFE-AFAFRICA Personnel Division chief.

“We are doing everything we can to ensure that our USAFE-AFAFRICA employees have multiple options available to them, so they can make the best decisions for their future,” she said. “We are here to assist in any way, especially since they are currently living overseas.”

Throughout the process, manpower specialists across the Air Force will continue to match selected civilians against vacancies for which they qualify in the local area and for potential stateside opportunities until separation.

If selected for separation due to the RIF, some employees may be eligible for a permanent change of station to their home of record.

Once separated, some civilians may have priority entitlements for re-employment for 12 months at their home of record location.

To meet the funding targets in the President’s fiscal 2012 budget, the Air Force was required to reduce more than 16,000 civilian positions.

The Air Force successfully reduced approximately 15,000 positions, minimizing adverse impact to civilian personnel; however, the service must implement its RIF authority, which will provide options to help place most of the remaining surplus employees.

RIF procedures offer the Air Force greater flexibility in removing civilians from surplus positions by placing them at other positions on the installations while potentially retaining their grade or pay.

In addition, RIF procedures authorize eligible employees who cannot immediately be placed in local vacancies to be registered in the DOD Priority Placement Program.

The civilian reductions started in fiscal 2012 and are not related to the current sequestration actions.

For more information, contact your local civilian personnel office.