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Hundreds of NCOs face retraining into new specialties

Graphic by Staff Sgt. Randy Redman

RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -More than 3,000 staff, technical and master sergeants have been identified to receive retraining vulnerability notices under the initial phase of the Air Force's fiscal 2006 Noncommissioned Officer Retraining Program.

The retraining program is designed to help balance the enlisted force by moving NCOs in specialties with surpluses to those with shortages. As part of Phase I of the program, scheduled for Aug. 1 to Oct. 14, Air Force officials notified NCOs as vulnerable to retrain. Officials asked these Airmen to submit their choices of shortage career fields they would most like to retrain into or apply for special duty assignments no later than Oct. 14.

If voluntary measures are unsuccessful, the Air Staff will implement Phase II, involuntary retraining. In Phase II, individuals identified as vulnerable in Air Force Specialty Codes not meeting retraining-out objectives, and without approved retraining or special duty assignments by Oct. 14, will be involuntarily retrained.

"There are a lot of people at MacDill who will be directly affected by this," said Staff Sgt. Matthew Vaught, 6th Mission Support Squadron employment manager. "There are 43 names on my list if you include (U.S. Central Command and U.S. Special Operations Command)."

NCOs in Medical Services, Diagnostic Imaging, Supply Management, Radio Communications, Aerospace Ground Equipment, Telephone Systems, Comuter Systems and Security Forces have all been identified at MacDill as vulnerable under Phase I.

"This phase of the retraining program is necessary to help meet the needs of the Air Force by putting Airmen where they are needed most," said Tech. Sgt. Catina Johnson-Roscoe, NCOIC, Air Force Enlisted Retraining at the Air Force Personnel Center.

Major commands will continue to accept volunteer applications from individuals not identified as vulnerable. Additionally, they will encourage all eligible NCOs to consider special duty assignments such as recruiting, military training instructors, first sergeant duty or professional military education instructor, said Sergeant Johnson-Roscoe.

"Now is the time for those who have been identified for possible retraining to volunteer," said Chief Master Sgt. Terry Reed, chief of AFPC's Skills Management Branch. "It's up to each Airman, but if it were me, I'd think having control over my career would be a priority."

Vulnerability listings by grade and AFSC were posted on AFPC's web site Aug. 1 and will be updated weekly at https://www.afpc.randolph.af.mil/enlskills/Retraining/retraining.htm. Anyone interested in more details about the program can contact the local military personnel flight.

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