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Joint Base Andrews Features

NEWS | Nov. 7, 2011

AFDW Commander discusses civilian workforce restructuring

By Lynda Valentine AFDW Public Affairs

Air Force District of Washington Commander Maj. Gen. Darren McDew held the first of four town hall meetings today to discuss Air Force-wide workforce restructuring following the Nov. 2, 2011, Air Force announcement that approximately 4,500 civilian manpower positions must be eliminated in calendar year 2012. [See related story.]

The announcement said the service has already cut 9,000 civilian positions in management, staff and support at several bases and is looking to reduce an addition 4,500 jobs in those same areas. Efforts include normalizing or standardizing the level of service for specific functions across Air Force Installations, including minimizing duplication of services that are already available in the surrounding local community; reducing management overhead at all levels; and, consolidating staff and overhead to reduce duplication of staff functions without impacting mission accomplishment.

"For those of you who you have been around the military for less than 10 years, all you have known is abundance or resources. You have not seen lean years. Let me tell you, the next few years will be more austere," said McDew as he kicked off the meeting.

The general said the real bottom line is we are going to have to do things different across the Air Force. The service began in May 2011, by implemented a series of hiring controls and voluntary separation programs designed to reduce overall manpower costs. But those efficiencies were not enough. As such, across the National Capital Region, 399 Air Force civilian positions will be cut, with 157 taken from Joint Base Andrews.

McDew reiterated that Joint Base Andrews and AFDW lost 157 positions - not people. "It's not that many out of 9,000, plus 4,500 but if one of those positions is you, it's big." he said. "But many of these positions will be vacancies. Those positions in your office that are empty because of the hiring freeze will not be filled. They will come off the books. But we'll do other things as well. The culture of the United States Air Force is that we take care of our people. Our history proves it. We will do everything in our power to make these cuts voluntary," he said.
While noting "everything is on the table" with regard to further reductions, McDew emphasized the significant advantage of being employed inside NCR.

"You are not at an installation where you may be the only person working in a particular field or function," he said. "There are considerable resources and positions available across the entire federal government inside the National Capital Region, which gives us more opportunities to place people in different positions."

The general also reminded the audience that while announcing the 4,500 additional reductions, the Air Force also announced the addition of 5,900 positions in higher-priority areas like weapons buying, nuclear weapons management and the expanding field of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.

"We are going to need people to move into those [5,900] positions that are going to be added," he said. He recommended civilians position themselves to be eligible for these jobs by taking advantage of the resources available to them both on Joint Base Andrews and at the Pentagon, including resume writing courses and job fairs.

The general closed the Town Hall by reminding the workforce of mental health and wellness programs available to them should the find themselves in need. "Stress is real," he said. "I encourage you to take advantage of the stress reduction and other mental health classes offered. Don't deny it. Get some help for it."

For more information and for answers to questions asked during the town hall meeting, visit the AFDW Civilian Force Restructuring website at