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446th Airlift Wing’s manpower cuts pending budget approval

446th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Published: 03:53PM June 26th, 2014

The 446th Airlift Wing faces a potential reduction of roughly 172 manpower sanctions by Dec. 5, 2014, pending Congressional approval of the president’s 2014 fiscal year budget.

The manpower figures, reported in March, would reduce McChord’s C-17 fleet from 42 to 36, placing the other six into back-up inventory status.

These figures suggest an effort to plan for proposed budget impacts, which make up a piece of a servicewide force structure.

These reductions will only be put into effect if Congress passes the budget.

“McChord will still keep their C-17s, but the funding and mission taskings will be allocated among the 36 aircraft, said Col. Bruce Bowers, Jr., 446th AW commander. “This realignment is to fit within existing air mobility requirements.”

Staff losses include 21 air reserve technicians — reservists who double as full-time civil service employees — and 151 traditional reserve authorizations. Of the 172 sanctions, about 22 percent are officers and 78 percent are enlisted positions.

The planned cutbacks that fall in line with the decrease in aircraft predominantly affect the 446th Operations and 446th Maintenance Groups, he said.

“However, we may see impacts to other functional areas.”

“The vast majority of our people serve locally on a part-time basis, and force structure changes pose significant challenges for Reservists,” said Lt. Gen. James F. Jackson, commander of Air Force Reserve Command. “I will ensure that Reserve leaders at every level are doing everything they can to help Reservists through the transition.”

“These reductions are extremely stressful for our Airmen, both civilian and military,” Bowers said.

“However, we remain confident in our leadership during these difficult times. Every employee has a role, which contributes to our piece in the global airlift mission, and their expertise is part of what makes the 446th Airlift Wing one of the primary go-to units for C-17 support. But what you can count on is the commitment leadership has to the stre-ngth of the wing, and the health and wellbeing of the people who make it run. We are steadfast in ensuring those numbers stay high,” he said.

Upon Congressional approval, a majority of the planned changes will take effect in 2015 and 2016.

For questions or concerns regarding these announcements, ARTs should consult with the 446th Force Support Squadron military personnel section (253) 982-9109 and the Civilian Personnel Office 253-982-3803, while traditional reservists should work through the 446th FSS military personnel section.

“The 446th has faced obstacles before, and will experience changes in the future,” Bowers said. “But we’ve always found solutions in keeping the unit strong and taking care of our Airmen. “

“We have a loyal group of Airmen and civilians who will continue to serve and support the global airlift mission,” he said.