Matt Cilley/AP

Air Force to offer third round of buyouts

Employees will receive eligibility surveys by May and, if approved, must leave by Aug. 31.

The Air Force is trimming its civilian workforce again, offering the third round of buyouts and early outs in the past six months, Federal News Radio has reported.

As part of an overall effort to return civilian staffing to 2010 levels, the Air Force offered buyouts in January, 6,000 buyouts in September 2011, and implemented a 90-day hiring freeze in August.

"The Air Force recognizes the invaluable contributions of our civilian workforce, but also recognizes the fiscal constraints under which the Department of Defense and the government as a whole are operating," said Maj. Gen. Sharon Dunbar, director of force management policy. "Our civilian workforce is near required target levels, and we're focused on fine-tuning the force while taking care to minimize the effect on our current permanent civilian workforce and their families."

Employees will receive eligibility surveys by May 1 and applications will be due May 15. If approved, employees must leave by Aug. 31.

"We are committed to maximizing voluntary separation measures to preclude involuntary actions," Dunbar said. "However, as we progress toward the end of the fiscal year, it is apparent some bases will need to rebalance the skills of their workforce into other enduring positions."