The service has been trying to bring workforce numbers down to 2010 levels. Since the spring, the Air Force cut nearly 9,000 positions with 4,500 more to go to reach its goal.
The freeze was accompanied by early retirement and buyout offers. The Air Force is approved to authorize a maximum of 6,005 buyouts. Employees must leave by Dec. 31.
Many of the positions identified for elimination are already vacant, said Michelle LoweSolis, the Air Force Personnel Center civilian force integration director, according to the Air Force website.
“Even with the hiring freeze being lifted Dec. 15, budget and funding issues are still fluid, so major command and wing leaders must be alert to changing conditions as they’ll have the responsibility to control hiring to stay below targeted levels,” LoweSolis said.