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FY 14 Force Management Program (RIF, VSP, TERA)

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Why is BRAC and reducing excess infrastructure not a possibility over the next three years? It seems that the top brass refuses to challenge Congress on the BRAC issue and instead goes after people and jets because its a lot 'easier'.

The Air Force is getting smaller; I get that. But if we're cutting a shit load of good people and aircraft, can't top brass ease/balance/reduce those personnel/aircraft looses by eliminating a couple bases out there? I'll nominate one right now: Cannon.

That's not how the relationship with Congress works; when it comes to stuff as significant/large impact as closing bases, DoD is at the complete mercy of Congress. The Joint Chiefs and top DoD civilian leadership have repeatedly told Congress that we need to consider a BRAC, both in formal hearings as well as less formally in discussions, interviews, etc., and the Executive specifically requested funding for another round of BRAC in the most recent budget that was submitted to Congress (albeit a BRAC that would be executed a couple FYs down the road, but still better than nothing). Congress responded by including explicit language in the last several NDAAs (including the most recent FY14) forbidding DoD from allocating any funds to even consider another round of BRAC. It's not a possibility because Congress isn't going to consider it. Period. They have made that abundantly clear. It sucks and it is incredibly stupid, but it is a fact of life.

I'm not up to speed on what the "skeleton crew" mothball basing concept is, but given what it sounds like I will be shocked if Congress lets anything resembling that go through...the AK Congressional delegation about had Welsh's head on a pike over the Eielson debacle, and that wasn't even a mothball/warm storage thing, that was just removing the Aggressors.

Edited by BB Stacker

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wow. so basically a list of eligibility was pushed out, and again after people apply, big blue is going to say just kidding, you aren't eligible......awesome

Were you honestly expecting something different? I have little doubt that, yet again, AFPC will quickly realize they cannot allow even a small percentage of the rated folks who will apply for VSP to just waltz out the door, to hell with what the eligibility matrices say. But, I'll be getting close to the 6 month TTG by that point, and I can only hope that AFPC, in their infinite wisdom, decide to throw me 60-70 large on the way out.

On another note, where are you guys getting PSDM 13-130 from? I cannot find the damn thing anywhere. Interwebs hard.

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I think the targets will change a lot this year and the uncertainty will justifiably piss a lot of people off. I do think they will exhaust all possible voluntary measures before they hit the involuntary actions.

Will we exhaust voluntary measures first? Seems like that ship has already sailed. http://www.airforcetimes.com/article/20131217/NEWS07/312170022/Air-Force-announces-rollbacks-speed-separations

Edit:

This was a nice bonus, just in time for Christmas:

“If you are eligible to retire and identified for DOS rollback, you must submit a retirement application by Jan. 31, 2014, for the May 1 or earlier retirement,” Lt. Col. Rick Garcia, AFPC’s retirements and separations branch chief, said in a Dec. 17 release. “If you do not, you will be separated instead, and will not receive retirement benefits.”
Edited by pawnman

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I'm not up to speed on what the "skeleton crew" mothball basing concept is, but given what it sounds like I will be shocked if Congress lets anything resembling that go through...the AK Congressional delegation about had Welsh's head on a pike over the Eielson debacle, and that wasn't even a mothball/warm storage thing, that was just removing the Aggressors.

Someone back me up on the facts here: At our Wg/CC call covering FY14's plan, the 1-star said mothballing a base was a much easier option because it is under the full control of the AF. We can move everyone out, seal up the buildings, and leave a bare bones SF presence to deter trespassers. The drop in economic contribution from the base to the town hits just as hard as though the base were closed. This precipitates an eventual official closure since the congressman can no longer whine about how Clovis, NM will die if the base closes. Hold back the tears.

Anyone know if this is under complete AF control, and congress only exerts political pressure; or does congress have actual power over aircraft and personnel assignment actions?

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Edit:

This was a nice bonus, just in time for Christmas:

“If you do not, you will be separated instead, and will not receive retirement benefits.”

This has IG complaint written all over it. I can see it now...a 19 year Maj or MSgt isn't notified through an actual human being and is separated...

Maj/MSgt: "FSS, I got a RIP saying I am supposed to separate this spring, but my date for retirement isn't until fall?"

FSS: "Hey, you were notified via vMPF, AMS, and your af.mil email for life that you were affected by DOS roll back."

Maj/MSgt: "I just got back from a 365 deployment and the comm pukes still haven't re-established my NIPR account, so I don't have an account yet. What's DOS roll back?"

FSS: "It's a force shaping measure. You should have attended our symposium over Christmas break."

Maj/MSgt: "But I was on leave..."

FSS: "I'm sorry Sir, but you've been force shaped. Please email AFPC Retirements & Separations Branch for further questions."

Maj/MSgt: "But I don't have a base account set up yet...I'm here now, why can't I talk to you."

FSS: "I apologize, we just process the PSDMs, we don't actually know what they mean."

Edit: for Three Holer's catch

Edited by GoAround

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This has IG complaint written all over it.  I can see it now...a 19 year Maj or MSgt isn't notified through an actual human being and is separated...

 

Maj/MSgt: "FSS, I got a RIP saying I am supposed to separate this spring, but my date for retirement isn't until fall?"

FSS: "Hey, you were notified via vMPF, AMS, and your af.mil email for life that you were affected by DOS roll back."

Maj/MSgt: "I just got back from a 365 deployment and the comm pukes still haven't re-established my NIPR account, so I don't have an account yet.  What's DOS roll back?"

FSS: "It's a force shaping measure.  You should have attended our symposium over Christmas break."

Maj/MSgt: "But I was on leave..."

FSS: "I'm sorry Sir, but you've been force shaped.  Please email AFPC Retirements & Separations Branch for further questions."

Maj/MSgt: "But I don't have a base account set up yet...I'm here now, why can't I talk to you."

FSS: "I apologize, we just process the PSDMs, we don't actually know what they mean."

I'd love to see someone DOS rollback an officer, since it is an enlisted force management program.

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I have a friend who was told by his commander to look for Guard/Reserve opportunities to VSP and/or to expect being RIF'd. When I asked why he said his CC said, "Well, you did fail one PFT." I've flown with this guy; he's certainly in the top quarter of pilots and an all-around great squadron mate. I love the "qualitative" techniques the Air Force uses. It will be interesting to watch (thankfully for me, from the sidelines) the Air Force execute the force shaping measures.

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Someone back me up on the facts here: At our Wg/CC call covering FY14's plan, the 1-star said mothballing a base was a much easier option because it is under the full control of the AF. We can move everyone out, seal up the buildings, and leave a bare bones SF presence to deter trespassers. The drop in economic contribution from the base to the town hits just as hard as though the base were closed. This precipitates an eventual official closure since the congressman can no longer whine about how Clovis, NM will die if the base closes. Hold back the tears.

Anyone know if this is under complete AF control, and congress only exerts political pressure; or does congress have actual power over aircraft and personnel assignment actions?

There is no way in hell that would stand. Congress (or more specifically, the affected States' Congressional delegations) will do exactly what they did with the Eielson situation...write language into bills prohibiting the AF from expending any funds to take any action and play the trump card of Senators, hold up nominations/promotions/appointments until they get what they want. A decision regarding moving that much iron/equipment/personnel from one base to another drives certain time consuming statutory requirements (big one is an EIS), so it would not be a quick process...plenty of time for that State's Congressional delegation to make all sorts of asspain for the AF to convince us of the error of our ways.

And even if there was some way to just magically close up the base overnight so they wouldn't be able to do anything, they'll do like what they did with Cannon back when it was originally supposed to be BRAC'd back in 2005...hold up nominations, promotions, and whatever else they can until the decision is reversed and the base gets a mission back.

So to answer your question, no, Congress doesn't directly control aircraft and personnel assignment actions...but just like anything in federal government, you piss off a Senator at your agency's own risk, and that is a battle that you will lose 100 times out of 100.

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It does make more sense to do it that way. I suspect the cuts will be too large to allow for holding it against those who aren't team players. Cutting 25k people in a few years is something we haven't seen before. This will be ugly no matter how much sense goes into it.

1) Would it ever be appropriate to hold it against somebody for volunteering for an approved AF program to get volunteers to separate?

2). Please define what a 'team player' is for me.

Go to the Liberty/Constitution thread for the rest of my rant on what's going on...

Edited by HeloDude

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I have a friend who was told by his commander to look for Guard/Reserve opportunities to VSP and/or to expect being RIF'd. When I asked why he said his CC said, "Well, you did fail one PFT." I've flown with this guy; he's certainly in the top quarter of pilots and an all-around great squadron mate. I love the "qualitative" techniques the Air Force uses. It will be interesting to watch (thankfully for me, from the sidelines) the Air Force execute the force shaping measures.

Did the failure result in a referral report? There's a difference...

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Negative on the referral OPR. He was lucky and, frankly, his CC was cool about it and helped him out.

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On another note, where are you guys getting PSDM 13-130 from? I cannot find the damn thing anywhere. Interwebs hard.

I got it from the execs today in work email. It's not on myPers yet for some strange reason.

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Negative on the referral OPR. He was lucky and, frankly, his CC was cool about it and helped him out.

How is the board going to find out about it then? Or does the senior rater sit down with an AFFMS printout when handing out strats?

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Even if he did have the strats handed out via that logic I would think that the worst he could give him is a retain because a do not retain would have to contain comments. Those comments would have to come from something in his record. Unless he has a UIF or something in his record. He could strat him as 50/50 though.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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It does make more sense to do it that way. I suspect the cuts will be too large to allow for holding it against those who aren't team players. Cutting 25k people in a few years is something we haven't seen before. This will be ugly no matter how much sense goes into it.

Boss, you said it right there. This is going to be ugly. There will be no good way to make these cuts ESPECIALLY if A1 is behind the power curve already. Looks like we'll be using the bean counter approach (i.e. we need to make cuts, just start cutting people) and undoubtedly, the way they'll implement that will be of course who they consider "quality" folks based on PFT scores, PME, AAD, etc. All that is great, but those are people who probably weren't going to get out. On the other hand, you have another demographic of "quality" folks who do have PME, AAD, no PT failures in whom the AF has mucho $$$ invested who will separate because there are higher paying, more stable opportunities on the outside that can use their AF funded talents...these are your normal attrition folks and they may not separate using voluntary means or they may not be eligible at this time, but rest assured, they plan to separate (ref the number of rated VSP applications by folks who have already expressed their intent to separate at some point). Some may be quality, some not. Between the two demographics, I think the AF will see a bigger reduction than what they are actually anticipating.

What scares me most about these upcoming cuts is that they weren't planned (or maybe they were all along, Chang knew about it MONTHS ago), so now the magic formula that A1 uses to determine manpower requirements has 25K less people in it which may or may not include the normal attrition. I'm guessing the majority of the 25k "quality cuts" will be involuntary separations (the rated force is a whole other issue aside from this). I've said this before and I'll say it again, when you have higher than normal retention rates due to a down economy and you reduce manpower to exactly what (you think) you need to sustain operations (in this case 25K less since it wasn't "planned" nor is it exactly known from where the cuts will come), and then you have an improving economy and retention rates go back to normal, you will end up with a severe shortage of personnel. I understand, these things are hard to predict, but we already know it is coming...we just don't know to what degree.

I'll make another prediction. The Air Force will cut too much via involuntary separations, normal attrition rates will continue, OPSTEMPO will not decrease, and we will work the shit out of the remaining force until we burn them out. We'll still get the job done, probably not as pretty as we could, but we'll create a hollow force and everyone will act surprised that this happened, wash, rinse, repeat. This is going to be "do more with less" at a level we've never seen before. I hope I'm wrong, but more importantly for me, I hope I don't have to relive it for the third time in my career.

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I really want to believe in our leaders when they say we will have to do less with less, but we all know that you and I will get the job done no matter what. This reduction plan can and should be done smartly, I just don't see it happening. Please prove me wrong Big Blue!

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Min run the stupid stuff.

Amen. Hacking the mish' only...no more queep!!!

Edit to add:

We received an email yesterday saying to expect to hear around the 31st as to which AFSCs will be meeting the FSB this summer, for those of us 3-6 year officers that fall into that category. I'd be willing to bet none of the pilot types will be safe (except maybe 11F's), but that's just me...

Edited by WheelsOff

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I got it from the execs today in work email. It's not on myPers yet for some strange reason.

PSDM 13-130 wasn't supposed to be for public consumption yet. Some CC's mistakenly sent it out to their people.

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I know I'm a lone voice in the wilderness, but I still just don't get it. "Cutting 25K in a few years is something we haven't seen before." Really? This should be an absolute cakewalk compared to 1993. How can it be this difficult to voluntarily cut 8% of the force over 3-5 years when we have VSP and 15 year retirements at our disposal?

  • Upvote 1

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I know I'm a lone voice in the wilderness, but I still just don't get it. "Cutting 25K in a few years is something we haven't seen before." Really? This should be an absolute cakewalk compared to 1993. How can it be this difficult to voluntarily cut 8% of the force over 3-5 years when we have VSP and 15 year retirements at our disposal?

My guess is it has something to do with the fact that the people who want out are not the people the AF wants to get rid of.

  • Upvote 4

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