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Suspension won’t interrupt AF security clearances

Mar. 21, 2013 - 05:58PM   |  
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If you have a Top Secret security clearance you don’t need to worry it will expire during a suspension of required reinvestigations, a U.S. Air Force spokesman said.

Due to budget cuts, the Air Force has suspended reinvestigations that are required every five years for airmen and civilians who hold Top Secret security clearances to see if they still meet the criteria for the clearances.

The Air Force will continue to conduct initial investigations, which are required to get a Top Secret clearance, said Maj. Matthew Hasson, based at the Pentagon. The suspension should not delay the process.

“Top Secret clearances for airmen and civilians will not expire while they are in authorized Top Secret positions,” Hasson said in an email. “Suspension will only delay airmen or civilians from submitting their reinvestigations.”

Retired Col. Terry Stevens said the suspension of reinvestigations should not pose much of a security risk because it is rare they lead to somebody’s security clearance being revoked or downgraded.

It is more likely someone would lose their security clearance for being investigated for allegedly violating the terms of his clearance, Stevens said.

The suspension affects airmen and civilians who are due for a reinvestigation or will be by Sept. 30, Hasson said. The Air Force doesn’t know how many people that is.

“We don’t have a definite number because suspensions do not affect all members with Top Secret requirements,” Hasson said.

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