27 January 2010

Air Force returns enlisted high year tenure to standards

Air Force manpower and personnel officials announced today a return of enlisted high year of tenure limits to their pre-2003 levels.

"We've considered returning HYT limits to their normal levels for several years. Now that our Air Force end strength is stabilizing, it is an appropriate time to return back to the pre-2003 levels," said Mr. Tom Voegtle, chief of the retirements and separations policy branch at the Pentagon.

High year of tenure is the maximum years of service a member may remain on active duty in relation to his or her enlisted grade.

The HYT for senior master sergeant, master sergeant, technical sergeant and senior airman will return to 26, 24, 22 and 10 years, respectively. The HYT limits for both chief master sergeant (30 years) and staff sergeant (20 years) will remain the same since they were not raised in 2003, Mr. Voegtle said.

The change will initially affect approximately 2,500 Airmen; 500 senior airmen, 400 technical sergeants, 1,200 master sergeants and 400 senior master sergeants.

The new HYT effective date for master sergeant is April 1, 2011; for technical sergeant, Aug. 1, 2011; and, for senior airman, Sept. 1 2011. The effective date for senior master sergeant is Jan. 1, 2012. This timeline provides Airmen additional opportunities to compete for promotion or plan for separation or retirement from active duty.

All Airmen who separate due to HYT will receive involuntary separation pay. Technical, master and senior master sergeants may apply for full retirement if leaving active duty due to reaching their HYT just as they would under existing policy.

While the new HYT is applicable now, Airmen who will be "over" their HYT as the policy is normalized will be allowed to remain on active duty until no later than the effective date for their corresponding grades.

An Airman's total active federal military service date will determine whether he or she is under the old or new HYT limit. For example, a senior airman whose TAFMSD is Aug. 31, 2001 or earlier would separate under his or her original HYT date or Sept. 1, 2011, whichever comes first. If the senior airman's TAFMSD date is after Aug. 31, 2001, that Airman's date would be adjusted to the new 10-year limit. In other words, the Airman will now be required to separate at the 10-year point rather than the 12-year point if he or she is not promoted to staff sergeant.

Airmen overseas who will reach HYT before they are scheduled to return will receive new dates in accordance with the revised policy, Mr. Voegtle said. Also, deployed Airmen and those soon to deploy who are affected by the policy change will return no later than 30 days prior to their
new HYT date.

The new HYT requirements will not affect the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill. Airmen opting to transfer their Post-9/11 G.I. Bill benefits to family members will still be able to transfer these benefits even if their new HYT dates prevent them from completing the required active-duty service commitments.

Extensions of HYT are still applicable under existing guidelines. These include reasons such as extreme personal hardship or when an extension is clearly in the best interest of the Air Force, Mr. Voegtle said.

This change to policy will not affect Air Force Reserve or Air National Guard members.

The AF has a longstanding tradition of taking care of its people, and will continue this tradition through this process and beyond, Mr. Voegtle said.

"There will be no change in retirement or separation pay benefits, and the Air Force is committed to providing our Airmen and their families with an open and transparent process," he added.

Individuals who have questions regarding this policy change or any personnel issue can contact the 24/7 Total Force Service Center toll-free at 800-525-0102.

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22 January 2010

Air Force announces upcoming change to C-17 sustainment plan

Today the Air Force announced it will establish an integrated C-17 Program Office and lead the product support integration efforts at Warner-Robins Air Logistics Center at Robins AFB, GA with support from the Boeing Company.

Additionally the Oklahoma Air Logistics Center at Tinker AFB, OK will manage the C-17 engine with support from Pratt and Whitney. The material management functions will be a joint effort between the contractors and the government. The new sustainment strategy will begin in FY2012 and be phased in over a variable timeline.

The new Air Force strategy for C-17 long term sustainment for fiscal year 2012 and beyond is estimated to save $9-$12 billion over 30 years. "This decision is a win-win - it represents our commitment to the warfighter and capitalizes on Air Force and defense private sector expertise," said Debra Walker, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Logistics.

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09 January 2010

Military Pay Calculator Enables Service Members, Families to Accurately Estimate Pay for 2010

(BUSINESS WIRE)--Military.com and CinCHouse.com launched their new 2010 Pay Calculator on Thursday which enables military members, military spouses and families to input criteria to determine what their pay will be at any given duty location.

Following the recent release of the 2010 pay rates from the Department of Defense, this new tool will help military families accurately predict their pay and allowances and will allow for better financial planning.

"Military pay fluctuates from year to year and from job to job. Having the ability to look ahead and make plans for what will be coming in, makes life much easier and allows military families to practice sound financial management," said Meredith Leyva, founder of CinCHouse.com and Senior Director for Women's and Family Initiatives for Military.com. CinCHouse.com is a Military.com website for military spouses, families and women in the military, and the site's name refers to a term used by military families to describe the "Commander in Chief of the House."

Military pay actually increased by 3.4% for the coming year; a benefit for many families who, in past years, have not seen their pay keep pace with civilian inflation or comparable occupations in the private sector.

John Alexander of the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society commented, “This is an exceptional tool that our caseworkers all over the world use to estimate pay and help our Sailors, Marines and their families manage their finances. Military pay can be confusing, the rates for housing allowances differ by duty station and each member is entitled to different allowances based on skill sets and rank. This tool takes all that information and gives you an accurate number on which our military families can base their spending and savings.”

To view the calculator go to: http://cinchouse.com/Money/MilitaryPayEstimator/tabid/88/Default.aspx.

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07 January 2010

United States Navy selects Atlanta to host 2010 Navy Week Celebration

America’s Navy will come home to Atlanta October 11-17.

Atlanta has been chosen as a host city for a Navy Week celebration in 2010, giving area residents an opportunity to meet some of the Navy’s Sailors and learn about the Navy’s critical mission and its broad-ranging capabilities.

The U.S. Navy conducts approximately 20 Navy Weeks each year, reaching out to communities across the country to show Americans the investment they have made in their Navy. During a Navy Week celebration, the Navy concentrates a variety of outreach assets in a single city for the week, sharing the Navy story with as many people as possible.

The Navy’s precision flight demonstration team, The Blue Angels, will headline the Navy Week in Atlanta, performing at Dobbins Air Force Base October 16-17.

Other outreach assets which may be scheduled during Atlanta Navy Week include:

- The Navy Leap Frogs Parachute Team
- Navy rock bands and ceremonial bands
- Flag Officer speakers
- Navy divers
- Flight simulators and other interactive displays
- and Sailors from namesake ships and submarines.

A wide variety of events are scheduled during each Navy Week, including:

- Engagement with local corporate, civic and government leaders
- Navy Band musical performances
- Dive demonstrations in local aquariums
- Visits to area schools
- and community service projects and events with local sports franchises, to name only a few.

In 2010, 20 cities have been selected to host a Navy Week. These cities include: Tampa; Phoenix; Charleston, S.C.; San Antonio, Texas; Des Moines, Iowa; Kansas City; Birmingham, Ala.; Spokane, Wash.; Little Rock, Ark.; Milwaukee, Wisc.; Boston; Minneapolis; Chicago; Boise, Idaho; Baltimore; Cleveland; St. Louis; Salt Lake City; Atlanta; and Dallas.