Some civilian Air Force employees around Washington D.C. have the option to take a buyout, as part of an effort to trim the ranks. (U.S. Navy photo by Lt. Cmdr. Jim Remington / Relea)
The Air Force will begin offering early retirement options and buyouts to civilian employees in the Washington area, according to July 21 announcement.
Employees will begin receiving letters gauging interest in early retirements and buyouts, with responses due by August 1. Those who accept the offer will have to leave Air Force employ by the end of September.
The move is in response to a directive issued last summer by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel that all military services trim their headquarters staffs by 20 percent over five years by 2019.
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"The Air Force recognizes the invaluable contributions of our civilian workforce, but also must manage the fiscal constraints under which the Department of Defense is operating," said Brig. Gen. Brian Kelly, the director of force management policy. "We are focused on fine tuning the force while taking care to minimize the effect on our current permanent civilian workforce and their families.''
The Air Force will try to achieve its workforce cuts without resorting to reductions in force, according to the service. But the Air Force is already anticipating another round of buyouts and early retirements to achieve its long-term goals.