The Air Force is set to start offering early retirement and buyout incentives in a bid to cut its workforce by nearly 3,500 civilian employees, according to Defense One.
The move is part of Defense Department cutbacks to slash the staff at headquarters offices by 20 percent.
The Air Force plans to start laying off people in force if the voluntary program fails to reach the desired number of resignations. The staff in the Washington, D.C., area would be the first to be laid off, Defense One said, citing an Air Force spokeswoman.
The Air Force is expected to save $1.6 billion over the next five years, although the service must cut $50 billion to meet the demands of 2011 Budget Control Act’s sequestration caps.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel called for the 20 percent reduction in headquarters staff last year, as part of the plan to cut the Pentagon’s budget by $50 billion over the next 10 years.
The Air Force also plans to eliminate 20,000 military positions this year, and military personnel have been offered "a variety of voluntary incentive programs" over the last year, according to Defense One.
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