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Civilian authorization reductions

RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Air Education and Training Command officials are looking at ways to streamline organizations to smaller, more agile forces and organizational structures to reduce the effect of reductions in the civilian workforce next spring. The Air Force plans to reduce its civilian workforce strength by 2,000 positions during FY07 as a result of Program Budget Decision 720.

"This is not just an AETC effort. Every command and organization in the Air Force is transforming to a smaller, leaner and more capable force all while engaged in combat operations." said Col. Greg F. Patterson, AETC A1 (Manpower and Personnel) director, "Part of this is driven by our Air Force's urgent need to modernize our fighter, and mobility aircraft."

The colonel explained the people portion of the budget equation is one of the few places left to attain large, long-term financial changes. "It's a very delicate balance between ensuring we are taking care of our people while we strive to generate savings in a constrained budget environment as we try to recapitalize the Air Force," said Colonel Patterson.

"I want our civilian work force to know we are very concerned about the impacts of any force reductions within the command." said, Gen. Bill Looney, AETC commander, "We are going to work with every individual and hope to find viable options and opportunities to make this work for us and our Air Force."

"This will not be an easy process, or one without pain." He said, "We have recently determined the overall number of positions our command is going to lose. Now, we are concentrating on finding the most efficient, least painful approach to implementing those reductions."

Colonel Patterson said AETC should pass the number of authorization reductions to the wings shortly.

"At that time, we will be able to discuss the options available for us to provide support to all affected employees," he said. Colonel Patterson then described some of the possible support options that may include placing employees in other vacant positions, Voluntary Early Retirement Authority, Voluntary Separation Incentive Pay and placement via the Department of Defense Priority Placement Program.

Noting that any reduction in the number of civilian authorizations can potentially lead to a reduction in force, Colonel Patterson said, "Using the programs we have available and in place, we believe we can minimize any impact on our civilian work force. It's important that folks work with us as we go through these reductions and we'll make every effort to keep everyone informed as we reach key milestones."
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