HomeNewsArticle Display

Air Force hits record retention levels, reviews voluntary force management efforts

ARLINGTON, Va. (AFNS) --

The Department of the Air Force is seeing its highest retention levels in 20 years, second only to rates recorded shortly after 9/11 in 2002.

However, as hundreds of members who were previously planning to retire or separate in 2020 withdrew or delayed their departures amidst COVID-19 concerns, it led to fiscal year 2021 end strength numbers that already exceeded the projected end-of-year goals. 

“Congress delivered immense help, increased our numbers and helped us make real readiness improvements after sequestration reductions,” said Lt. Gen. Brian Kelly, deputy chief of staff for manpower, personnel and services. “Increased recruiting and retention efforts helped restore the size of the force by nearly 23,000 over the last five years. We also closed a 4,000-person maintainer gap and increased the manning levels of many career fields.”

Now, Kelly said, the challenge for the Department is to keep the size of the force balanced for the future, high-end fight. 

To get that done, headquarters personnel teams are reviewing voluntary opportunities to allow for even more flexibility as Airmen make long-term career choices. These will involve waivers of some active duty service commitments, particularly focused on expanding opportunities to affiliate with the Guard and Reserve.  

“We want Airmen to know their expertise is incredibly valuable, and we are reviewing steps to make it even easier to either transition to Guard or Reserve service or explore other career fields,” he said. 

Kelly also noted the service may no longer need all the retention bonuses the force is currently using, and will “shape the force to better match our requirements by facilitating re-training from some over-manned AFSCs to those with lower manning levels.”

Kelly said involuntary programs are not being considered for FY21.

“We have to bring in the right number of Airmen each year to sustain the force throughout the continuum of service,” Kelly said. “We have a plan to avoid future year-group gaps and we will announce volunteer options soon that we believe will balance end-strength appropriately.” Kelly expects to share the approved list of volunteer options before mid-December. 

As the Space Force is still in a purposeful phase of strategic growth, any force management decision will be evaluated for its applicability to the newly formed sixth branch of service. Space Force members will not be eligible for a voluntary ADSC waiver due to the required minimum two years to join the new service.

“As we build the Space Force, our priority has been to do no harm and to communicate decisions with the maximum transparency possible as we transfer personnel from the Air Force into the new service,” said Patricia Mulcahy, U.S. Space Force chief human capital officer. “We remain committed to that goal as we work with our partners in the Air Force to find effective solutions in addressing these force management concerns.”

 

 

 

Engage

Twitter
A new Tactical Air Control Party program is now combat ready. Using multi-channel communications equipment in Humve… https://t.co/ihY1nXf9X2
Twitter
RT @SecDef: As America’s 26th Secretary of the Air Force, Frank Kendall III’s decades of expertise and impact in service to our national se…
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: Mr. Frank Kendall has been confirmed by the Senate as the 26th Secretary of the Air Force! In this role, he will lead ho…
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: The Honorable Gina Ortiz Jones has arrived! “Serving as the Under Secretary of the Air Force is an absolute honor! I’m…
Twitter
A little #MondayMotivation from the 33rd Fighter Wing “Nomads,” @TeamEglin flight line ops-- are the graduate flyin… https://t.co/Ua0opwxkWH
Twitter
The 571st Mobility Support Advisory Squadron conducted a mobile training team engagement with the Jamaican Defense… https://t.co/mLoRIEZxu1
Twitter
Another week clear for take off. #AirPower A crewchief marshals an F-16 Fighting Falcon during Combat Raider Exerc… https://t.co/avL8z6c33J
Twitter
One step closer... #AirForce Officer Training School candidates complete a four-phase, nine-and-a-half week progra… https://t.co/gQNQ2IMlim
Twitter
You got this! 💪 https://t.co/WnevIeJbQ4
Twitter
Not a bad way to cool off in the summer. The 815th Airlift Squadron's Reserve #Airmen visited Alaska to airlift o… https://t.co/DElqEx4JwJ
Twitter
RT @USAFRecruiting: Built different 😤 These @airforcespecwar exercises will put your strength to the test and show you what muscles these…
Twitter
Another Air Force week complete, and we've got it in photos! View the rest here: https://t.co/OkjRFKvDjz https://t.co/HXcWkJN35U
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: On behalf of our #Airmen and families, congrats and welcome to Ms. Jones, our new Under Secretary of the @usairforce. #…
Twitter
Jumping into the weekend Tactical Air Control Party Airmen assigned to the 14th Air Support Operations Squadron pe… https://t.co/VLRxCb90mw
Twitter
RT @HQ_AFMC: Getting ready for the big leap into civilian life? #Airmen preparing to separate from active duty service can take steps towar…
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: Acting Secretary Roth on the confirmation of Gina Ortiz Jones to serve as the Under Secretary of the Air Force. ⬇️ https…
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: Confirmed yesterday by the Senate, Gina Ortiz Jones will be the next Under Secretary of the Air Force! Read more ⬇️ @US
Twitter
The Senate unanimously confirmed Gina Ortiz Jones to be Under Secretary of the Air Force, clearing the way for the… https://t.co/Q8SFw2fq45
Twitter
Hundreds of Airmen participated alongside @USArmy Soldiers in the inaugural Pacific Warriorz 2021 Joint and Total… https://t.co/fAPp4UGjmW
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,354,475
Follow Us