Air Force Says It Ran Out Of Money For Promised Assistance To Airmen

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Air Force Says It Ran Out Of Money For Promised Assistance To Airmen


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The Air Force announced cuts to certain reenlistment bonuses and funding for airmen moving to new bases, although it promised months ago that no pauses to relocation funds were imminent despite lack of funding.

Money set aside for personnel funding through fiscal year 2023 has evaporated due to “higher-than-projected personnel costs,” the service said in a statement Monday, causing delays to permanent changes of station for airmen scheduled to depart in August and September. As of July 11, enlisted members who would otherwise have received thousands of dollars in bonuses for re-enlisting will have to defer until at least next year, the statement added.

Air Force Personnel Command “will continue to prioritize and authenticate orders for mandatory moves and will consider [Exception To Policy] requests on a case-by-case basis,” the statement said.

Personnel with orders to relocate in August or later “are being reviewed and approved on a priority basis,” the statement said, acknowledging that some will face delays.

Suspensions will disrupt career moves for potentially thousands of airmen, CNN reported, citing an Air Force official. Moves are expected to resume once the service’s funding, which is determined by Congress at the start of every fiscal year, renews on Oct. 1, the official added.

Air Force members said in social media posts in February that their commanders informed them that funding for permanent changes of station would dissipate for enlisted members by Aug. 1 and sooner for officers, Stars and Stripes reported. Some said they received messages that the Air Force implemented a short-term pause for new assignments.

At the time, Air Force headquarters denied ordering a pause but did not address the issue of funding, according to Stars and Stripes.

“The Air Force Personnel Center is not pausing processing military assignment actions nor canceling assignments for those scheduled” to move in fiscal year 2023, Tech. Sgt. Deana Heitzman, a spokesperson for Air Force headquarters at the Pentagon, told the outlet in February.

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Certain bonuses aimed at incentivizing airmen to stay in the Air Force after their initial contracts expire will also be temporarily suspended and deferred until new funding arrives, the statement said. The program being impacted, known as the Selective Retention Bonus, encourages enlisted personnel in positions with retention shortfalls to renegotiate their contracts, according to the Air Force.

“The Air Force continues to work through additional options to avoid the funding shortfall and will provide more information when available,” the Air Force statement continued.

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