Lieutenant colonels in the Biomedical Sciences Corps no longer face an enhanced Selective Early Retirement Board. (Guido Melo/Air Force)
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Lieutenant colonels in the Biomedical Sciences Corps who were concerned about their jobs can relax: The Air Force has canceled its planned enhanced Selective Early Retirement Board covering those officers.
In a force management update posted online Wednesday, the Air Force said it has received enough qualified voluntary retirement applications from Biomedical Sciences Corps lieutenant colonels to allow it to scratch those E-SERB plans. The Air Force is expected to release more information on the E-SERB cancellation later Wednesday.
The Air Force has repeatedly said that it hopes to use voluntary separations and retirements as much as possible, to minimize the number of airmen who must be involuntarily retired or separated. In the case of biomedical lieutenant colonels, it appears that strategy has worked.
Maj. Matt Hasson said that E-SERBs for some other officers who were previously vulnerable — lieutenant colonels in the Medical Services Corps and colonels who are in the Biomedical Sciences Corps, Medical Service Corps, pilots, combat systems officers, special tactics officers, intelligence officers and other career fields — had already been canceled. Hasson said the Air Force received enough voluntary retirements to cancel those officers’ E-SERBs.
The E-SERB for majors in the Line of the Air Force, LAF-judge advocates, Biomedical Sciences Corps, Medical Services Corps and Nurse Corps — remains in effect.
The Air Force is rolling out a series of 18 voluntary and involuntary force management programs to reduce its ranks by up to 25,000 over the next five years.
The number of officers whose voluntary separation pay applications have been approved has also increased slightly over the past week, from 340 as of April 18 to 380 as of April 25, the Air Force said. The number of enlisted VSP approvals remains unchanged at roughly 2,400.
The number of VSP applications has also increased over the last week, from more than 1,200 from officers to more than 1,500, and from roughly 6,800 from enlisted airmen to 6,900.
The window for applying for VSP closes Thursday.
The Air Force also announced:
■ All chief master sergeants have been told if they are eligible to face the chief’s retention board in June. Those chiefs’ senior raters have also been notified of the chiefs’vulnerability.
■ Some airmen who are deployed or on short tours, as well as officers who have active-duty service commitments that can now be waived, have until May 13 to apply for Temporary Early Retirement Authority, or 15-year retirements. The TERA window for all other airmen closed March 26.
■ Civilian employees will also be notified soon if their requests for early retirement or buyouts have been approved. The number of civilian employees who were approved will be released by early May. Approved civilians must retire or separate on May 31.
■ The service later this week plans to post matrices outlining which officers in the Line of the Air Force and medical professions will face a reduction-in-force board. That RIF board is delayed until October.