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Thousands of airmen spared under revised force-shaping plan

Apr. 7, 2014 - 05:52PM   |  
Operation Enduring Freedom
Airmen who work on the A-10 are receiving a reprieve this year, due to a congressional restriction on reductions in the A-10 workforce. (Tech. Sgt. Efren Lopez/Air Force)
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No longer targetedEnlisted airmen in these career fields are no longer vulnerable to being separated by a retention board:
1A0X1 In-flight refueling
1A100 Flight engineer manager
1A300; 1A400 Airborne mission systems manager; airborne operations manager
1A800 Airborne ISR manager
1A900 Special missions aviation manager
1C000 Aviation resource management manager
1C3X1 Command post
1C600 Space systems operations manager
1C7X1 Airfield management
1N000 Intelligence manager
1N0X1 Operations intelligence
1N1X1A Geospatial intelligence analyst
1N1X1B Geospatial intelligence targeteer
1N2X1A Signals intelligence analyst — electronics
1N3X1 Crypto language analyst
1N4X1B Fusion analyst — analysis and production
1S000 Safety manager
1W000 Weather manager
1W0X1 Weather
2A2X2 SOF/PR integrated instrument & flight control systems
2A2X3 SOF/PR electronic warfare systems (except CV-22)
2A300 Fighter/remotely piloted aircraft manager
2A373 Tactical aircraft maintenance craftsman
2A374 Fighter aircraft integrated avionics craftsman
2A378 Remotely piloted aircraft maintenance craftsman
2A3X3E Tactical aircraft maintenance (A-10/U-2)
2A3X3L Tactical aircraft maintenance (F-15)
2A3X3M Tactical aircraft maintenance (F-16)
2A3X4A Fighter aircraft integrated avionics (A-10/U-2)
2A3X4B Fighter aircraft integrated avionics (F-15)
2A3X4C Fighter aircraft integrated avionics (F-16)
2A3X5A Advanced fighter aircraft integrated avionics (F-22)
2A3X5C Advanced fighter aircraft integrated avionics (RPA)
2A3X7A Tactical aircraft maintenance (F-22)
2A3X8A Remotely piloted aircraft maintenance (MQ-1/MQ-9)
2A3X8B Remotely piloted aircraft maintenance (RQ-4)
2A500 Airlift/special mission aircraft manager
2A571 Airlift/special mission aircraft maintenance craftsman
2A5X1B Airlift/special mission aircraft maintenance (C-130/C-27J)
2A5X1C Airlift/special mission aircraft maintenance (C-5)
2A5X1D Airlift/special mission aircraft maintenance (C-17)
2A5X2B Helicopter/tiltrotor aircraft maintenance (H-60)
2A5X2D Helicopter/tiltrotor aircraft maintenance (CV-22)
2A5X2B Helicopter/tiltrotor aircraft maintenance (H-60)
2A5X3 Mobility Air Forces electronic warfare systems
2A5X4A Refuel/bomber aircraft maintenance (C-135, E-3, E-8)
2A5X4D Refuel/bomber aircraft maintenance (B-52)
2A5X4E Refuel/bomber aircraft maintenance (B-1)
2A5X4F Refuel/bomber aircraft maintenance (B-2)
2A600 Systems manager
2A6X1F Aerospace propulsion (F100, 101, 110, 118, 119, 135 jet engine)
2A790 Aircraft fabrication support
2A871E Mobility Air Forces communication/counterintelligence/navigation systems (all airlift aircraft) craftsman
2A872E MAF instrument & flight control systems (all airlift aircraft) craftsman
2A872J MAF instrument & flight control systems (all tanker aircraft) craftsman
2A8X1A MAF communication/counterintelligence/navigation systems (C-5)
2A8X1B MAF communication/counterintelligence/navigation systems (C-17)
2A8X1C MAF communication/counterintelligence/navigation systems (C-130, except SOF/PR & EC-130)
2A8X1F MAF communication/counterintelligence/navigation systems (KC-10)
2A8X2A MAF instrument & flight control systems (C-5)
2A8X2B MAF instrument & flight control systems (C-17)
2A8X2C MAF instrument & flight control systems (C-130, except SOF/PR & EC-130)
2A8X2F MAF instrument & flight control systems (KC-10)
2A972 Bomber/special instrument & flight control systems craftsman
2A973 Bomber/special electronic warfare & radar surveillance systems craftsman
2A9X1A Bomber/special communications/navigation/mission systems (E-3)
2A9X1D Bomber/special communications/navigation/mission systems (RC-135)
2A9X1E Bomber/special communications/navigation/mission systems (B-1)
2A9X1G Bomber/special communications/navigation/mission systems (B-52)
2A9X2A Bomber/special instrument & flight control systems (E-3)
2A9X2C Bomber/special instrument & flight control systems (E-8)
2A9X2E Bomber/ special instrument & flight control systems (B-1)
2A9X3A Bomber/ special electronic warfare & radar surveillance systems (E-3 radar surveillance)
2A9X3B Bomber/ special electronic warfare & radar surveillance systems (E-3 computer/EW)
2A9X3C Bomber/special electronic warfare & radar surveillance sys. (E-8)
2A9X3E Bomber/special electronic warfare & radar surveillance sys. (B-1)
2G000 Logistics plans manager
2M000 Missile & space systems maintenance manager
2P000 Precision measurement equipment lab manager
2R0X1 Maintenance management analysis
2S000 Materiel management manager
2T000 Traffic management manager
2T100 Vehicle operations manager
2T300 Vehicle management manager
2T390 Vehicle management superintendent
2T3X1 Vehicle & vehicular equipment maintenance
2T3X2A Special vehicle maintenance — firefighting vehicles
2T3X2C Special vehicle maintenance — MHE
2T3X7 Vehicle management & analysis
2W100 Aircraft armament systems manager
3D000 Cyber operations manager
3D0X2 Cyber systems operations
3D0X4 Computer systems programming
3D100 Cyber systems manager
3D190 Cyber systems superintendent
3E000 Civil engineer manager
3E090 Facility systems superintendent
3E290 Heavy repair superintendent
3E5X1 Engineering
3E6X1 Operations management
3N000 Public affairs manager
3N1X1 Regional band
3N1X1G Regional band — cornet, trumpet
3N1X1K Regional band — tuba
3N1X1N Regional band — guitar
3N1X1R Regional band — vocalist
3N1X1S Regional band — electric, string bass
3N2X1 Premier band
3P000 Security forces manager
3P0X1A Security forces military working dog handler
3P0X1B Security forces combat arms
3S000 Force support manager
3S2X1 Education & training
4A100 Medical materiel manager
4A200 Biomedical equipment manager
4C0X1 Mental health service
4E000 Public health manager
4H0X1 Cardiopulmonary lab
4J0X2A Physical medicine — orthotic
4M000 Aerospace and operational physiology manager
4M0X1 Aerospace and operational physiology
4N000 Aerospace medical service manager
4N091 Aerospace medical service superintendent
4N0X1 Aerospace medical service
4N191 Surgical service superintendent
4N1X1 Surgical service
4N1X1B Surgical service – urology
4P000 Pharmacy manager
4R0X1A Diagnostic imaging – nuclear medicine
4R0X1C Diagnostic imaging – magnetic resonance imaging
4T000 Medical lab manager
4T0X2 Histopathology
4Y000 Dental manager
4Y0X1H Dental hygienist
4Y0X2 Dental lab
5J000 Paralegal manager
6C000 Contracting manager
7S000 Special investigations manager

At least 8,751 airmen's jobs are no longer on the chopping block this year, according to the latest charts obtained by Air Force Times.

At least 8,751 airmen's jobs are no longer on the chopping block this year, according to the latest charts obtained by Air Force Times.

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At least 8,751 airmen’s jobs are no longer on the chopping block this year, according to the latest charts obtained by Air Force Times.

The new charts, dated March 28 and posted online April 3, show the Air Force now estimates it has 10,018 enlisted airmen in overmanned career fields that must be cut this year, whether through voluntary measures such as early retirements or involuntary measures such as retention boards. That is 45 percent less than the estimated overages of 18,336 enlisted shown in previous charts, which were dated Jan. 23.

Air Force Times also obtained an updated chart on the officer force shaping boards, which shows the number of eligible first lieutenants and captains in the Line of the Air Force and LAF-Judge Advocate categories has dropped from 979 to 546 — a reduction of 44 percent.

“After recalculations and taking into consideration voluntary separations and retirements, it was clear that personnel reductions were no longer necessary in some [Air Force specialty code] year groups,” Air Force Personnel Center operations division chief Col. Joe Atkins said in an April 3 release.

Large swaths of the enlisted ranks have dropped off the retention board eligibility chart. More than 200 career fields have at least one rank that is marked “closed,” indicating those groups were originally notified they were at risk of meeting the enlisted retention board, but are no longer because no overages exist. Of those, roughly 100 have been entirely removed.

In an April 3 release, the Air Force said already-approved retirements and separations were one factor that allowed them to reduce the number of airmen who must be cut. So far, the Air Force has approved 2,636 Temporary Early Retirement Authority applications and 750 voluntary separation pay applications, and expects more will be approved soon. Another 221 officers have been separated through a December Selective Early Retirement Board, and more than 90 were cut through the first round of date-of-separation rollbacks. In all, roughly 3,700 airmen have so far left or have been selected to leave the Air Force under force management.

But the Air Force said it has also made “adjustments to the overall manpower requirements.” Last month, the Air Force put its processing of voluntary retirement and separation applications on “pause,” in part to give it a chance to take another look at its force requirements. Lt. Gen. Sam Cox, deputy chief of staff for manpower, personnel and services, said at the time that the Air Force was going rank by rank, year group by year group, and career field by career field to figure out where it needed to make adjustments.

The Air Force is also taking steps to make the force management process more transparent to airmen. It has added a force management button on the Air Force Portal, my.af.mil, that includes the latest program details such as eligibility matrices.

“From initial notification and implementation, we’ve discussed the dynamic nature and fast pace of our force management programs,” Cox said in the April 3 release. “With volumes of available information, necessary real-time adjustments and national-level budget uncertainties all colliding, it is understandable that we have sincere angst in our force. While the heightened concern is natural and reasonably expected, we want to help mitigate it with a consistent effort of communicating to our airmen.”

The Air Force also is not planning to hold another reduction-in-force board or SERB for officers in fiscal 2014, according to an internal email posted on Reddit March 26 and later confirmed by an Air Force Times source.

However, the enhanced SERB is likely to return next year during the second round of force management programs, the email said. The enhanced SERB, introduced this year, looks at early retirements for colonels with two to four years time-in-grade, lieutenant colonels who have been passed over for promotion once, and retirement-eligible officers between the rank of captain and colonel. Traditional SERBs look at colonels with at least four years time-in-grade and lieutenant colonels who have been passed over at least twice.

Double jeopardy

Most airmen who are eligible for involuntary programs this year, but escape without being separated, will not face the second round of involuntary reductions or separations next year, the email said. The only exceptions to this double jeopardy rule will be enlisted airmen with negative quality indicators who will appear before the Quality Force Review Board, and possibly officers who are eligible for the E-SERB.

Next year’s force management cuts “will be significantly less except for QFRB,” according to the email.

The email said the second round of force shaping planned for 2015 will contain similar voluntary and involuntary measures as this year, except for the officer RIFs and SERBs. The Air Force wants to review the numbers on force reductions before deciding whether to hold another E-SERB next year, the email said, but a second E-SERB “more than likely will occur.”

Officers in the 13N nuclear and missile operations career field — which has been rocked by an ongoing cheating scandal that exposed deep morale problems — are also no longer targeted by involuntary separation programs, the email said.

Reprieve for security, A-10

Security forces airmen in the 3P0X1 career field are most likely to breathe a sigh of relief. The old chart showed overages of 3,992 security forces airmen. But now, those estimates have dropped to 1,947 — a reduction of 51 percent. After security forces officials learned they could lose at least 15 percent of their total career field, they raised red flags to Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh and other senior leaders. Security forces leaders said the initially planned cuts would seriously jeopardize security at bases around the country, and pleaded for the cuts to be reduced. The security forces career field is now projected to lose about 7 percent of its 26,035 airmen.

Other career fields are also seeing reductions to their original, steep cuts. The pavements and construction equipment career field overages, for example, are dropping from 420 — or 21 percent of its total force — to 267, or 14 percent. Aircraft armament systems overages have dropped from 689 airmen, or 10 percent of its force, to 377, or 6 percent. The RF transmission spectrum overages have dropped from 616 — or 17 percent — airmen to 400, or 11 percent. And fuels dropped from 528 overmanned airmen, or 15 percent of its force, to 455, or 13 percent.

And airmen who work on the A-10 Warthog are also receiving a reprieve this year, due to a congressional restriction on A-10 reductions. The original chart listed 463 airmen in the avionics test station and components, tactical aircraft maintenance and fighter aircraft integrated avionics career fields related to the A-10 that were overmanned and due to be cut this year. The revised chart eliminates all of those cuts except six staff sergeants in the avionics test station and components field. Those remaining staff sergeants are likely to work on other planes.

Airmen who maintain or work on avionics for F-15s, F-16s, F-22s and remotely piloted aircraft have also been taken off the overmanned list.

Not all fields are seeing reductions. The materiel management career field overages, for example, increased slightly from 490 airmen to 496.

AFPC has said the force management charts are subject to change and are updated periodically. AFPC also has said the numbers are for general information and that airmen should get specific details from their military personnel section or AFPC, and that each airman must confirm his actual eligibility by contacting his unit leaderships and military personnel section.

Targeted for separation: Enlisted

Enlisted career fields, by rank, with the number of overmanned positions and the number of airmen in those positions vulnerable to being separated by a retention board. Numbers in parentheses show change from figures released by Air Force Jan. 23. O = Overage. V = Vulnerable.

AFSC E-4 E-5 E-6 E-7 E-8 E-9
O V O V O V O V O V O V
1A1x1 68 (-8) 233 (-30) 85 (-17) 185 (-23) 25 (-16) 84 (-12) Closed Closed
1A2x1 49 (-56) 55 (-14) 171 (-8) 466 (-17)
1A3x1; 1A4x1 1 (-39) 69 (-10) 53 (-1) 312 (-13) 41 (-3) 202 (-14) 3 (-11) 51 (-8) 6 (0) 25 (0)
1A6x1 Closed Closed 16 (-11) 52 (-3) 8 (-3) 19 (-2) Closed Closed
1A9x1 101 (+36) 243 (-10) Closed Closed
1C0x2 Closed Closed 35 (+4) 275 (-7) Closed Closed
1C1x1 Closed Closed 81 (-35) 430 (-22)
1C300 7 (-4) 18 (-3)
1C6x1 Closed Closed Closed Closed 12 (-6) 103 (-3) Closed Closed 5 (0) 12 (-5)
1N2x1C 31 (-17) 46 (-10) 11 (+8) 190 (-25) Closed Closed Closed Closed
1P000 1 (-2) 9 (-2)
1P0x1 Closed Closed Closed Closed Closed Closed 15 (-28) 44 (-5) Closed Closed
1S0x1 36 (+3) 88 (+5) Closed Closed
1U0X1 Closed Closed 129 (-82) 285 (-45) 18 (-100) 108 (-9)
2A090 3 (0) 13 (0)
2A0x1K Closed Closed 6 (+2) 60 (-1) Closed Closed Closed Closed
2A0x1M Closed Closed Closed Closed 5 (-9) 40 (-2) Closed Closed
2A0x1P Closed Closed Closed Closed 4 (-10) 27 (-3) 14 (-12) 16 (-5)
2A2x1 Closed Closed 19 (0) 103 (-2) Closed Closed Closed Closed
2A671G 32 (+19) 448 (-11) 84 (-43) 94 (-40)
2A690 13 (-7) 66 (+6)
2A691 10 (0) 33 (+2)
2A6x1C Closed Closed 13 (-11) 409 (+31)
2A6x1H Closed Closed 15 (-4) 111 (-6) 24 (-22) 27 (+3)
2A6x2 Closed Closed 167 (+5) 586 (-23) 63 (-38) 259 (-13) 113 (-57) 127 (-28) 8 (-4) 31 (+2)
2A6x3 Closed Closed Closed Closed 15 (-5) 18 (-5)
2A6x4 Closed Closed 30 (-13) 151 (-5) 25 (-29) 39 (-10)
2A6x5 Closed Closed 3 (-37) 354 (-12) Closed Closed Closed Closed
2A6x6 Closed Closed 49 (+15) 556 (-17) 22 (-19) 327 (-16) 69 (-21) 94 (-13)
2A7x1 47 (+13) 172 (-4) 17 (-7) 82 (0) 15 (-14) 17 (-2)
2A7x2 Closed Closed 11 (-18) 51 (-2) 9 (-20) 11 (-3)
2A7x3 35 (-2) 457 (-11) 97 (-8) 210 (-4) 19 (-15) 40 (-12)
2A7x5 Closed Closed 15 (-38) 91 (-1)
2F0x1 Closed Closed 190 (-19) 585 (-28) 195 (-22) 267 (-19) 66 (-28) 94 (-33) 4 (-4) 30 (-1)
2G0x1 1 (-5) 30 (-8) 39 (-29) 171 (-2)
2M0x1 Closed Closed 38 (-6) 127 (-4) 10 (-11) 58 (-3)
2M0x2 Closed Closed 16 (+2) 83 (-1) Closed Closed
2P0x1 Closed Closed 39 (+6) 137 (-6) 36 (-11) 73 (-1)
2R000 2 (0) 10 (0)
2R1x1 Closed Closed 8 (-2) 122 (-7) Closed Closed
2S0x1 Closed Closed 138 (+87) 1,139 (-51) 279 (-39) 593 (-19) 79 (-42) 203 (-34)
2T0x1 Closed Closed Closed Closed 39 (-11) 127 (-10) 27 (-11) 48 (-15) Closed Closed
2T1x1 Closed Closed 147 (-11) 164 (-9) 56 (-28) 63 (-15) Closed Closed
2T2x1 27 (+1) 808 (-26) 136 (-21) 347 (-17) 63 (-25) 114 (-25) 6 (-4) 30 (0)
2T370 216 (0) 274 (-12) 56 (-41) 63 (-20)
2W0x1 50 (-108) 1,152 (-46) 181 (-69) 502 (-34) 53 (-43) 175 (-23) 8 (-8) 53 (+6)
2W1x1 Closed Closed 19 (-149) 1,103 (-33) 229 (-62) 550 (-22) 124 (-88) 138 (-31) 5 (-13) 50 (+2)
2W2x1 Closed Closed 4 (-1) 83 (+1) 1 (0) 63 (+1) Closed Closed Closed Closed
3D0x1 137 (-172) 153 (- 28) 84 (+39) 727 (-35) Closed Closed Closed Closed
3D0x3 15 (+9) 42 (-7)
3D1x1 Closed Closed Closed Closed 81 (+45) 90 (+1)
3D1x2 Closed Closed Closed Closed Closed Closed 58 (-23) 144 (+3)
3D1x3 96 (-147) 178 (-24) 198 (-34) 641 (-19) 58 (-16) 293 (-13) 48 (-19) 113 (+13)
3D1x4 3 (-6) 29 (-2)
3D1x5 35 (-21) 39 (-2) 15 (-4) 74 (-5) Closed Closed Closed Closed
AFSC E-4 E-5 E-6 E-7 E-8 E-9
O V O V O V O V O V O V
3D1x6 37 (-44) 42 (-6) 53 (+5) 115 (-10) 37 (+4) 77 (-3) 19 (-5) 22 (0)
3D1x7 Closed Closed 28 (-4) 127 (-2) 5 (-4) 42 (-2) 12 (-2) 16 (+1)
3E0x1 Closed Closed 76 (+15) 267 (-11) 8 (-6) 131 (-8) 22 (-32) 25 (-7)
3E0x2 Closed Closed 59 (-3) 212 (+1) 41 (-10) 119 (-8) 27 (-13) 31 (-6)
3E1x1 Closed Closed 110 (+1) 263 (-10) 29 (-12) 113 (-7) 26 (-8) 29 (-10)
3E2x1 Closed Closed 171 (-9) 376 (-9) 74 (-10) 160 (-4) 22 (-7) 25 (+4)
3E3x1 Closed Closed 152 (-6) 338 (-10) 67 (-7) 141 (-7) 28 (-6) 37 (+3)
3E490 7 (0) 33 (+5)
3E4x1 22 (-42) 120 (-6) 62 (-24) 275 (-14) 57 (-13) 135 (-9) 29 (-10) 33 (-13)
3E4x3 Closed Closed 3 (-3) 35 (-3) 2 (0) 18 (0) 1 (-4) 3 (-3)
3E7x1 Closed Closed 131 (+25) 512 (-21) 28 (-4) 211 (-6) 32 (-25) 36 (-11) Closed Closed
3E9x1 Closed Closed 4 (-6) 131 (-2)
3M0x1 20 (-45) 93 (-52) 56 (-28) 616 (-39) 77 (-20) 268 (-12) 10 (-21) 89 (-26) Closed Closed
3N0x5 Closed Closed 9 (-9) 136 (-6)
3N191 1 (-1) 7 (+2)
3N1x1A, B ,E, F, H, J, K, L 13 (-5) 37 (0) 5 (-28) 9 (-13)
3P0x1 489 (-1,066) 1019 (-296) 457 (-626) 2954 (-234) 714 (-236) 1294 (-188) 287 (-110) 346 (-68) Closed Closed
3S0x1 18 (-12) 160 (-28) Closed Closed
3S1x1 5 (-6) 35 (-2) Closed Closed
3S3x3 13 (0) 80 (-4) 24 (-5) 117 (-3) Closed Closed
4A0x1 Closed Closed Closed Closed 35 (-50) 194 (-14) Closed Closed Closed Closed
4A1x1 Closed Closed 24 (-30) 189 (-7) 21 (-19) 68 (-4) 1 (-8) 19 (-3) Closed Closed
4A2x1 Closed Closed 8 (-2) 99 (-3_ 7 (-3) 52 (-2) 9 (0) 19 (+2) Closed Closed
4B0x1 Closed Closed 17 (-40) 187 (-5) 51 (-13) 104 (-1) 11 (-14) 22 (-2)
4D0x1 Closed Closed 24 (+1) 43 (-2) 7 (-11) 8 (-2) 4 (-1) 8 (0)
4E0x1 3 (-13) 31 (-7) 39 (-10) 238 (-8) 32 (-6) 95 (-4) 9 (-2) 20 (-9) Closed Closed
4J0x2 Closed Closed Closed Closed 2 (-4) 31 (-3) 5 (-8) 7 (-4)
4N071 93 (-69) 104 (-35)
4N0x1C 1 (-9) 101 (-6) 10 (-5) 22 (-6)
4N1x1C 1 (-3) 6 (-5) 3 (0) 10 (-1)
4N1x1D 2 (0) 6 (0) 1 (-1) 2 (-1)
4P0x1 Closed Closed 4 (-3) 129 (-4) 27 (-16) 81 (-2) 14 (-13) 19 (0) 3 (-2) 9 (+1)
4R090 3 (0) 10 (-1)
4R0x1 12 (-32) 49 (-1) Closed Closed Closed Closed 7 (-14) 9 (-8)
4R0x1B 23 (0) 28 (+2) 1 (-7) 2 (0)
4T0x1 Closed Closed Closed Closed Closed Closed 11 (-14) 23 (-15)
4V0x1 Closed Closed 3 (-10) 4 (-3) Closed Closed
4Y0x1 Closed Closed Closed Closed 60 (-23) 106 (-13) 29 (-21) 33 (-8)
5J000 2 (0) 9 (0)
5J0x1 Closed Closed 11 (-2) 124 (-3) Closed Closed
5R0x1 Closed Closed 28 (-27) 70 (0)
6C0x1 18 (-2) 96 (-11) 28 (-2) 320 (-16) 18 (-2) 220 (-3)
6F0x1 32 (-65) 87 (-18) 35 (-47) 290 (-15) 25 (+7) 188 (-2) 8 (-2) 74 (-5) Closed Closed
7S0x1 Closed Closed 20 (-45) 54 (-6) 3 (-7) 16 (0)
9S100 1 (0) 4 (0)

Source: Air Force

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