WARNER ROBINS -- The Air Force is implementing a 90-day hiring freeze and voluntary civilian force-reduction incentives, effective immediately.
In an announcement posted on its website Friday, officials say the freeze also will include a reduction of term and temporary employees, along with implementation of the Voluntary Separation Incentive Program and Voluntary Early Retirement Authority Program.
How it might affect Robins Air Force Base is uncertain. Base spokesman John Birdsong said the base has not been authorized to talk about the initiative locally.
However, most of the hiring at Robins in recent months has been in the 402nd Maintenance Wing, where blue collar positions, such as mechanics, have been exempted from previous hiring restrictions because of the critical need of the aircraft.
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Outside the maintenance area, the base has been following a one for two hiring restriction implemented throughout Air Force Materiel Command, Robins’ parent agency. For every two vacancies, one is filled.
According to the Air Force statement, all major commands, direct reporting units and field operation agencies are impacted by the hiring freeze and force-reduction incentive programs.
Lt. Gen. Darrell Jones, the Air Force’s deputy chief of staff for manpower, personnel and services, said the initiative is aimed at meeting current fiscal constraints.
“We are operating in a very challenging fiscal environment and are focused on meeting mission requirements with a reduced budget,” Jones said in the announcement. “We are mindful of the impacts of budget constraints on our civilian force and their families, which is why we are seeking to reduce the need for involuntary measures.”
According to the announcement, the hiring freeze is intended to quickly reduce the civilian work force to budgetary limits and allow future hiring in the most critical areas.
“We will do our utmost to provide timely, candid communication on specific efforts as details are finalized,” Jones said.
To contact writer Wayne Crenshaw, call 256-9725.