Commander’s Corner addresses personnel cuts

By Amanda Crowe acrowe@civitasmedia.com

February 12, 2014

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE — Col. Cassie Barlow, 88th Air Base Wing and Installation Commander, recently discussed upcoming Air Force personnel reductions in the first Commander’s Corner.

The video posted Feb. 4 on the WPAFB website is the first in a series intended to help keep people informed about current activities and topics of interest in the wing and on the base.

In this Commander’s Corner, Barlow focuses on two rounds of cuts coming in 2014 following the passage of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013, which was signed into law on Dec. 26, 2013.

“It gives us some relief from sequestration, but we are not yet out of the woods,” Barlow said. “We get some flexibility with funding and the ability to pay our bills but we are still facing a lot of challenges, primarily on the personnel front. Hiring freezes and personnel cuts have already scaled back our workforce quite a bit and we have more reductions on the horizon.”

According to the commander, the first round of reductions will be based on previous years’ resource management decisions and particular career fields.

“Thankfully, this round will impact only a handful of positions on base that we should be able to absorb with current vacancies,” said Barlow. “With that in mind, we determined that we will not currently need a VERA/VSIP (Voluntary Early Retirement Authority/Voluntary Separation Incentive Program) to offset a potential reduction in force.”

The second round of cuts will result in a 20 percent reduction in the AFMC and AFLCMC headquarters staffs. A number of programs are being implemented to reduce military personnel numbers by 25,000 across the Air Force.

The Air Force will look first for people who wish to leave or retire voluntarily. The next step will be involuntary reductions based upon overages in particular career fields.

“Many of you will sit down with your families to come to a decision about your future,” Barlow addressed WPAFB personnel. “If you decide to leave, my pledge is to do everything we can to help your transition. If you want to stay, I encourage you to review your records for things like awards and achievements, education and PME (professional military education), to ensure that any potential review board has an honest assessment of who you truly are.”

To view the Commander’s Corner video, visit the base website at www.wpafb.af.mil.

Amanda Crowe may be reached at 937-878-3993 ext. 134.