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Brig. Gen. Bradley Pray Speaks to Pope About FMP

  • Published
  • By 2nd Lt. Cammie Quinn
  • 43rd Airlift Wing, Public Affairs
Brig. Gen. Bradley R. Pray, Deputy Director of Operations, Headquarters Air Mobility Command, spoke to Pope Airmen about the Force Management Program, April 8.
The FMP is designed to assist Air Force officials in achieving the fiscal 2010 end strength of 331,700, requiring a reduction in force by approximately 3,700 officer and enlisted members through voluntary and involuntary early separation and retirement programs.

General Pray announced the enlisted force will be reduced by 1.6 percent and officers will face a 2 percent reduction in force.

"When you crunch the numbers, it's only a 2.6 percent reduction in forces," said General Pray. "But if it includes you, as an Airman, it becomes much more personal; it becomes a very big deal. This is not an easy decision to make. Everyone has made a huge contribution, particularly since 9/11 and it has been appreciated."

The Air Force must have the appropriate balance of skills to meet the needs of the current and future fight, and the steps taken now will affect the future of the Air Force, General Pray said.

"Air Force retention is at a 15-year high, despite an incredibly robust operations tempo," said General Norton A. Schwartz, Chief of Staff. "We are nearly 5,000 Airmen above our authorized, funded end strength ceiling. Career fields are overmanned in certain year groups, while at the same time; we have critical manning shortages in some of our most stressed career fields and mission areas.

"We must correct these overages and skill imbalances by sizing and shaping our force within our authorized, funded ceiling," he added.

The number impacted by the FMP largely relies on the number of Airmen who choose to voluntarily separate or retire from active duty service. Voluntary programs allow personnel to leave the service immediately; non-voluntary programs begin this summer with departures targeted for no later than April 2011.

For officers, early retirements and separations are encouraged for certain ranks and career fields. Active duty service commitments will be waived for some overage and non-critical Air Force Specialty Codes. Other opportunities for will provide voluntary separation pay at twice the severance pay and Palace Chase reduction in commitment form a 3-1 ratio to a 1-1 ratio. Also available is a Blue to Green inter-service transfer to the Army.

Enlisted personnel programs are similar to those available to officers. Active duty service commitment waivers allow Airmen to separate before the expiration of their initial active duty commitments; reenlistment contract waivers waive the remaining contracted service with the most recent reenlistment - expediting separation. A Blue to Green inter-service transfer to the Army is another option.

Assistance for Airmen who are impacted by Force Management is available. Comprehensive Transition Assistance Program seminars ensure Airmen are aware of their full range of benefits and help Airmen and their families consider options as they transition from active-duty service.

The FMP is not a quick fix, but a tailored, multi-year effort, comprised of many programs aimed at managing the force along a continuum of service, said General Schwartz.
For more information on the FMP, visit the Air Force Personnel Center's Web site or call AFPC at (800) 525-0102.