The Air Force could be forced to lay off hundreds of civilian employees this year to meet funding targets and rebalance its civilian workforce, officials said Wednesday.
Officials last year identified “more than 1,000 civilian overages” across 48 installations going into fiscal 2016, according to a press release. As a result, “some Air Force installations will implement civilian reduction in force (RIF) authorities effective through April 4.
“Having the RIF authorities will assist in the placement of employees not assigned against funded positions and allow greater flexibilities for employees to be placed at their installations while retaining their grade or pay,” the release stated.
Officials will attempt to reassign civilians to other positions, with the remaining employees eligible for future vacancies.
Over the last two years, the service has relied on several rounds of voluntary separation and retirement programs as well as reassignments to vacant positions to reduce its civilian workforce. Those efforts “have moved us significantly closer to our target manning levels,” said Lt. Gen. Gina Grosso, deputy chief of staff for manpower, personnel and services.
“We will take care of our civilian airmen by using every possible measure to minimize personal financial hardship for our civilian workforce and their families,” Grosso said. “We are committed to assisting each individual through this transition,” she stated.
The Air Force’s use this year of RIF authorities is separate from sequestration actions, according to the release.
Under a plan submitted to Congress in February, DOD is attempting to bring its total civilian workforce — minus exclusions for certain positions — from 238,000 in 2012 to 221,000 by 2017, reported Air Force Times.