With significant military budget cuts looming, it seems nothing is off limits, but new Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said he won’t stand for changes in benefits for today’s troops.
In comments to the Air Force Times, Panetta said while budget pressures could lead to benefit changes for incoming troops, those now serving will be grandfathered in.
“People who have come into the service and put their lives on the line, been deployed to the war zones, fought for this country and who have been promised certain benefits as result of that -- I’m not going to break the faith with what’s been promised them,” he said.
Deadline set for voluntary separation initiative for base employees
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Robins employees have until Sept. 7 to apply for the Voluntary Early Retirement or Voluntary Separation Incentive Program, according to an announcement published in the Robins Rev Up on Friday.
The base newspaper stated employees received an application link via e-mail on Wednesday. No details have been released as to what is being offered as a part of the incentive program, or how many might be granted at Robins.
The initiative is part of an Air Force plan to eliminate 2,000 positions to meet expected budget cuts. The Air Force is also cutting 2,000 temporary jobs and will let another 2,000 summer jobs go off the books, to bring its total civilian work force to 83,000.
Moody airman dies of heart attack during training exercise
An airman at Moody Air Force Base who died during physical training in May suffered a heart attack, according to a report in the Air Force Times this week.
According to witness statements the Times obtained in a Freedom of Information Act request, Senior Airman Michael Hudson II had worked through the night, then participated in physical training starting at 7:15 a.m.
The witnesses said he appeared to be in good spirits and doing well but began having trouble while running and collapsed.
Witnesses said he never smoke or drank and had not previously complained of chest pains.
Medal of Honor recipient to appear at Museum of Aviation event
It’s not often you get a chance to meet a Medal of Honor recipient, but that will be case at the Museum of Aviation on Sept. 17.
Retired Air Force Col. Joe Jackson, a C-123 Provider pilot in Vietnam, won the nation’s highest military honor for a daring and skillful landing he made under fire to rescue three troops about to be swarmed by the enemy.
The Newnan native was presented the medal by President Lyndon Johnson.
Jackson will be a special guest at a dual celebration of the 64th birthday of the Air Force and the 70th birthday of Robins Air Force Base at the museum.
The event will be in the Century of Flight hangar with a social hour starting at 6 p.m. and dinner starting at 7 p.m.
U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., will be the keynote speaker.
Tickets are $30 and may be purchased at the Robins Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Perry Area Chamber of Commerce or the Museum of Aviation gift shop.
To contact writer Wayne Crenshaw, call 256-9725.