Airmen return from a six-month deployment to Afghanistan. The Air Force's revised figures show 2,132 enlisted airmen and 323 officers have been approved for early retirement. (Airman 1st Class Betty Chevalier/Air Force)
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The Air Force has corrected an error in the number of enlisted airmen it said had been approved for early retirement.
In an April 15 release, the Air Force said 2,132 enlisted airmen had been approved for early retirement and notified. But one week earlier, the Air Force reported that 2,712 enlisted Temporary Early Retirement Authority applications had been approved.
After Air Force Times asked why the number of reported TERA approvals had declined, the Air Force said the April 8 number included several erroneously double-counted approvals.
The Air Force Personnel Center received more than 4,000 TERA applications from enlisted airmen, about 69 percent of whom were eligible. The airmen who weren’t eligible usually had less than the required 15 years of service, or served in ineligible career fields.
The Air Force also said April 15 that 323 officers’ early retirement applications had been approved and the officers notified, 13 more than had been approved as of April 8. AFPC received more than 1,000 TERA applications from officers, about two-thirds of whom met eligibility requirements. About 300 officer applications were still pending, the Air Force said.
The number of officers approved for the first round of voluntary separation pay — the application period for which closes May 1 — increased from 167 as of April 8 to 275 as of April 15, but the number of enlisted VSP approvals remained unchanged at 2,471.
The Air Force also said last week that processing of VSP applications will continue, but it will not take the final step of approving additional applications until the window closes May 1.
The Air Force clarified the status of the VSP processing after an Air Force Times inquiry. The April 15 release — which said VSP “applications will continue to be processed in all eligible [career fields], enlisted grades and officer year groups” — appeared to conflict with an April 11 update to the VSP Personnel Services Delivery Memoranda. Those updated memos added a clause reading “applications will be processed after the application window close [sic] on 1 May 14.”