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Fiscal 2011 enlisted force management programs conclude after meeting goal

WASHINGTON -- Air Force officials announced the closure of enlisted voluntary and involuntary force management programs for fiscal 2011 after meeting end-strength goals for enlisted Airmen.

Force management programs announced in December 2010 were implemented to size and shape the force to meet congressionally authorized end strength.

"Because we met our fiscal year 2011 enlisted end-strength goal, we won't need to conduct the two remaining date of separation rollback phases planned for this year," said Maj. Gen. Sharon K.G. Dunbar, the director of force management policy. This involuntary program accelerated the separation of enlisted Airmen with less than 14 years or more than 20 years of service who were not recommended for retention by their commanders. Airmen under the rollback program will separate by May 31.

The enlisted voluntary programs included Palace Chase transfers to the Reserve and a variety of waivers, to include certain active duty service commitments and enlistment contracts, that allowed enlisted Airmen to voluntarily separate or retire.

"Although both voluntary and involuntary programs have closed for enlisted Airmen this fiscal year, we will continue to shape the skills balance essential to the current and future fight," General Dunbar said. "Force management entails a tailored, multi-year approach to cultivating skilled Airmen over the continuum of service. We need to analyze each career field to calibrate accessions and various force management measures that optimize a career field's 30-year outlook."

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Roy also reiterated the importance of the overall force management program.

"The Air Force must balance the desire of Airmen wanting to serve with the need to operate within its congressionally authorized end strength," Chief Roy said.

"We recognize these actions may be difficult for Airmen who have been asked to transition from the Air Force," he continued. "We will continue to communicate with our Airmen in clear and candid terms to minimize uncertainty and maximize options."

Officer force management programs will continue as previously announced.