The Air Force has eliminated 100 positions in base support career fields at Hurlburt Field as a result of a Department of Defense-wide initiative to reduce civilian manpower to fiscal year 2010 levels in order to meet the President's fiscal year 2012 budget.
This process is part of an on-going effort focused on reprioritizing how resources can be used to more efficiently and effectively support and sustain the force and, most importantly, the warfighter.
However, positions do not equate to people. Over half of the 100 eliminated positions are already vacant. The majority of these positions are from the force support and civil engineering career fields. Officials at Hurlburt will reassign personnel filling positions that have been eliminated to other positions not currently slated for elimination, where possible.
All affected employees will be notified by their commanders on Nov. 3 and 4.
The Air Force will exhaust all possible voluntary measures before implementing involuntary actions. Currently, the Air Force has made no official decision to conduct a reduction in force (RIF); however, a RIF may be necessary to meet the fiscal year 2010 levels.
In an effort to avoid non-voluntary actions, the Air Force has implemented a series of major actions to minimize the impact on civilian employees, including hiring controls and a hiring freeze to increase the number of vacant positions that can be used to place employees.
Additionally, in September, the Air Force offered members in some career fields voluntary early retirement or separation opportunities. Six Hurlburt Field personnel have been approved for early retirement, and those retirements will take effect Dec. 31.
In early 2012, the Air Force will offer a second round of voluntary retirement or separation opportunities. After the results of this second round are finalized, the Air Force will determine if a RIF will be implemented. Currently, 21 Hurlburt Field employees could potentially face a RIF action.
For programs that are affected, Hurlburt officials will tailor base support to leverage services that are available in the surrounding local community, where possible. Other support functions will be consolidated and managed under the larger organization.
"We recognize the tremendous value of our civilian workforce to Team Hurlburt and to the Air Force, and we clearly understand the stress and anxiety these and future reductions cause within our work force," said Col. Jim Slife, 1st Special Operations Wing commander.
"That's why we're making every effort to use voluntary means to achieve the reductions and will share information with our civilian workforce as soon as it becomes available."