As part of a larger move Pentagon chiefs say will save money, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates is calling for the elimination of two general officers and one senior civil servant positions at Robins Air Force Base.
In a memo dated March 14, Gates targets 130 of the Pentagon’s 952 general officers and admirals.
The vice commander of the U.S. Air Force Reserve, which is a hybrid military and civilian job, will be reduced from a Senior Executive Service to a government civilian job.
Also, the commander of the 402nd Maintenance Wing will be downgraded from a brigadier general to a colonel -- a reduction of one rung on the military officer ladder. The 402nd’s deputy director will be reduced from a Senior Executive Service slot, a position akin to a general officer for civil servants, to a lower civilian pay scale.
Jobs within the general schedule, or GS, federal pay schedule are capped depending on years of service. The highest base pay is about $130,000 a year. For a Senior Executive Service rank, civilians can make up to about $179,000 in base pay.
Gates commissioned the efficiency study in late 2010 as a way to save money within the Pentagon. The Air Force Times reported the memo’s release Monday.
Robins spokesman John Birdsong confirmed the 402nd changes Monday.
“The DoD did an efficiency study last year and the Secretary of Defense announced recently that 22 Air Force general officer billets would be” eliminated, restructured or redistributed, Birdsong said.
The deputy slot was part of changes made to 176 senior civilian slots. The 402nd is responsible for the maintenance of aircraft worked on at Robins.
Brig. Gen. Lee Levy commands the 402nd now, but is due to be replaced this summer as part of a normal rotation of command, Birdsong said. His replacement will be a colonel.
According to military pay schedules, Levy has 25 years of experience and a base pay of more than $138,000 a year. Depending on experience, a colonel in that slot would earn more than $113,000 a year.
For the Air Force Reserve vice commander, Maj. Gen. Craig Gourley’s position will be downgraded from the Senior Executive Service to the general civil servant pay scale. That slot will become a GS-15, which is the highest allowed within the general schedule.
The position is filled by a reserve officer who goes on an active duty tour for a length of time, said Jim Miller, U.S. Air Force Reserve spokesman.
“The requirement for an (Air Force Reserve) vice commander and associated duties has not changed, and future vice commanders will serve on an active-duty tour,” Miller wrote in an e-mail. “At this time, we are unaware of any additional (Air Force Reserve Headquarters) positions being reduced in rank or eliminated.”
To contact writer Shelby G. Spires, call 744-4494.