The Air Force's third round of buyouts and early retirements for civilian employees began Tuesday.
Most employees have until May 14 to apply for a buyout or early out, but some bases have moved up their deadline. Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina sent employees a memo that said they must apply by May 11.
Employees whose applications are approved must leave by Aug. 31.
The Air Force is using buyouts and early outs to reduce its rolls while avoiding layoffs. This third round, unlike the first two, will also give the Air Force additional flexibility to move civilians around to avoid layoffs. The Air Force said it will allow civilian employees who would otherwise be laid off to transfer to another base to fill a vacancy created by a buyout.
In an e-mail to employees, Shaw civilian personnel officer Suzanne Brooks said the base will only approve buyouts to avoid layoffs.
The Shaw memo said employees who apply for buyouts or early outs may not withdraw their requests, unless they can prove extreme hardship or extraordinary circumstances.
The Air Force said it did not set a specific goal for how many employees it hopes take the buyouts or early outs.