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Warren civilians to face changes

F.E. Warren AFB, Wyo. -- My last commentary more than a year ago was mainly about change and how we would get through those changes together. In September 2006, Warren saw the last of our civilian employees working with the Peacekeeper missile system affected by a reduction in force, or RIF, as Phase II of the deactivation concluded.

Many of the Peacekeeper civilians retired, yet some went on to other civilian positions on base or in the private sector. Although the deactivation had been projected for some years, this was a major life changing event for the affected employees. 

Just as the Peacekeeper deactivation concluded, we deployed a new personnel management system that affected our non-bargaining unit general schedule employees. In October, 2006, one-third of the civilian employees at our base went under the National Security Personnel System. NSPS employees fall under a new compensation architecture, classification system, performance management system and RIF procedures. 

Warren is currently working out details to run a mock pay pool in preparation for the real one coming this fall. DoD is in the early stages of planning the NSPS human resources design for federal wage system employees. No decision has been made on the implementation date. 

With the deactivation of Peacekeeper just behind us and NSPS having just been deployed, we are again faced with a RIF due to the arbitrary reduction in civilian authorizations directed by Program Budget Directive 720. The RIF was effective last month. As we lost civilian jobs due to the Peacekeeper deactivation and PBD 720, we also gained new civilian authorizations as a result of some military to civilian conversions. 

Currently, there are workload transformations and reorganizations happening throughout the base. Different pieces of work are being transferred to central operating locations while other organizations such as the 90th Mission Support Squadron is merging with the 90th Services Squadron to test the 90th Mission Support and Services Squadron. Much of this merger will be transparent to many of the employees within these organizations, but it will be a big change for leadership. 

As someone once said, "The only constant is change". I know that I have only touched the surface and there are many more changes that will have an effect on civilian employees as well as the military. 

As civilians working for the Air Force, we have faced change before. We rose to the challenge then, and we will again. With the large number of military deployments and personnel reductions, the contributions made by our civilian workforce have never before been so evident. 

It is great to be a member of the best ICBM wing and space wing in the Air Force and to know that our civilian employees have contributed a great deal to the 90th Space Wing's success.