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Air Force "Force Shaping" Phase II

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“Now is a good time to use this tool again,” Colonel Hayden said. “Airmen in overage career fields, coming up on their first re-enlistment, are offered an opportunity to retrain into a shortage career field. If they choose not to retrain, they have the opportunity to transfer to Palace Chase, apply for civil service, join the Army or separate.”

“In Phase II, we have more flexibility in managing each (career field) by year group than we had in Phase I,” General Speigel said. “We will consider applications according to the manning health of the member’s specialty by both the year group and the grade (for officers) or skill level (for enlisted).”

Because of this change, a greater percentage of applications will be approved in Phase II, officials said.

Additionally, as part of Phase II, enlisted accessions will drop by about 11,000 to reach authorized end-strength levels by the end of fiscal 2005. Thus, about 24,000 new recruits will join the Air Force rather than 35,000 as originally planned, officials said.

“This accession cut would occur for one year only,” said Maj. Gen. Peter U. Sutton, director of learning and force development at the Pentagon. “Then we will resume normal accession rates.”

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