More than 800 Robins employees apply for buyouts

jmink@macon.comFebruary 20, 2013 

WARNER ROBINS -- More than 800 Robins Air Force Base employees have applied for voluntary buyouts, which were offered in an attempt to shape up the work force.

Officials first offered the buyouts in early February. Now, officials hope to accept about 300 applications, base spokesman David Donato wrote in an e-mail Wednesday.

While any eligible employee could apply, offers primarily will be made to those in the Warner Robins Air Logistics Complex, Donato said. The Air Logistics Complex makes up the bulk of base operations.

The early retirement and separation incentives are not related to uncertainties surrounding the Air Force budget, but are a way to reshape the work force. The buyouts have been in the works for some time to deal with an excess of personnel in certain areas, which is partly due to workload reduction, officials said.

The base accepted 681 buyouts -- mainly early retirements -- last year in an effort to cut costs and reorganize Air Force Materiel Command. It took three rounds of buyouts to reach that number.

“We made the decision we were going to carry more people than we probably needed,” retired Maj. Gen. Robert McMahon, who now leads the 21st Century Partnership, previously told The Telegraph. “We didn’t get as many people as we had hoped. This in many ways is continuing in what we were doing last year to right-size the force.”

If there are more workers than needed, reducing the work force will be a plus because it will make the base more cost effective and efficient, McMahon said.

Those accepted will get up to $25,000 and leave by April 30. There are about 15,000 civilian workers on base.

The personnel department started issuing buyout acceptances Wednesday and will continue until March 8, Donato said.

Information from Telegraph archives was used in this report. To contact writer Jenna Mink, call 256-9751.

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