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Air Force implements Stop-Loss

WASHINGTON -- The assistant secretary of the Air Force for manpower and reserve affairs has authorized the use of Stop-Loss to retain specific skills needed to meet national security objectives. Effective May 2, 43 officer and 56 enlisted specialties will be affected by Stop-Loss.

"We do not take this action lightly," said Secretary of the Air Force Dr. James G. Roche. "Stop-Loss is designed to preserve critical skills essential to supporting the global war on terrorism, while ensuring we're prepared to meet other contingencies."

"We've implemented Stop-Loss to ensure we have the necessary skilled personnel to conduct operations," said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. John P. Jumper. "We'll use it only as long as necessary to accomplish our mission."

Stop-Loss is being implemented across the active duty, Air Force Ready Reserve and Air National Guard for the affected career fields in the ranks of airman through colonel, according to Maj. Teresa L. Forest, chief of Air Force retirements and separation policy at the Pentagon.

Both the secretary and chief of staff are acutely aware that the Air Force is an all-volunteer force and that this action, while essential to meeting the service's worldwide obligations, is inconsistent with the fundamental principles of voluntary service.

"We take Stop-Loss seriously and are working hard to ensure the lives of our airmen, their families and their civilian employers are not disrupted any longer than is necessary to meet our national commitments," Jumper said.

Therefore, a waiver process will be implemented for those people with unique circumstances.

"We are doing our best to minimize this disruption," Roche said. "And we will look at unique circumstances on a case-by-case basis and do all we can to offer appropriate relief."

"We understand the individual sacrifices that our airmen and their families will be making," Jumper said. "We appreciate their unwavering support and dedication to our nation."

For more information about Stop-Loss, people can contact their local military personnel flight or the Air Force Personnel Center's Stop-Loss Control Center at (210) 565-2374 or DSN 665-2374.

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