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The Air Force announced Tuesday that it has dropped at least 35 career fields from the list of jobs that airmen can retrain into, affecting as many as 1,000 airmen.
The list of career fields dropped from the retraining list was not immediately available.
Joe Crady, the Air Force retraining chief, said retraining classes scheduled for Jan. 1 or later will be canceled and affected airmen will be notified.
The Air Force previously intended to allow airmen in overmanned specialties the opportunity to retrain into undermanned fields, based on tentative projections. However, the Air Force’s latest projections show that at least 35 Air Force specialty codes that were believed to be undermanned are actually overmanned. And Crady said allowing airmen to retrain into them would exacerbate the problem.
Brig. Gen. Gina Grosso, the Air Force’s director of force management policy, said tight budgets and the possibility of further steep cuts due to the sequester prompted the decline in retraining opportunities.
“When we develop the retraining advisory, we look at historical and trending changes in AFSCs and project how many airmen we are likely to need in each AFSC and grade for the coming year,” Grosso said. “Those projections are always tentative because unanticipated changes occur throughout the year. This year, we are decreasing retraining opportunities because of ongoing budget uncertainty.”
First-term airmen who had already been approved for retraining before their classes were canceled will be entitled to a career job reservation in their current field, the Air Force Personnel Center said. Michael McLaughlin, AFPC’s re-enlistments chief, said those airmen should contact their local military personnel section for re-enlistment eligibility once they find out their classes are canceled.
Warning signs about retraining opportunities emerged earlier this month. In a Nov. 8 email obtained by Air Force Times, AFPC said that “due to the impacts of sequestration and in preparation for FY 2015 retraining programs, please be advised of the potential sudden decrease in FY 2014 retraining objectives.”