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A-76 impact felt by civilians across Keesler

KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. -- Keesler's civilian personnel officer Lee Hathorn, a briefer at Monday's A-76 town hall meeting, emphasized that the process "reaches out and touches every employee on base." 

Mr. Hathorn said a reduction in force is likely to reach outside affected organizations and impact other employees through the bump-and-retreat process, seniority rights and veteran's preference provisions. 

The 330 civilian positions affected by the A-76 decision could be lessened by vacant slots and potential retirements. 

As of Feb. 5, 36 positions are vacant, 26 people are eligible to retire at age 55 with 30 years service, 12 could retire at 60 with 20 years of service, seven could retire at 62 with five years service, and 99 employees are interested in possible Voluntary Separation Incentive Payments. 

Base-wide, 246 people were interested in VSIP buyouts, but they have to occupy slots that could be filled by people impacted by the A-76 study. 

Mr. Hathorn said the civilian personnel office will survey base employees again in the near future, since important information may have changed since the last survey was conducted. 

The office has an automated telephone line, 377-3935, for civilians to call with A-76 questions. Calls are returned within 24 hours. 

"We're working closely with the Air Force Personnel Center to use all regulations and options at our disposal to ensure maximum placement of affected employees," Mr. Hathorn stressed.