JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas — Beginning in April the Air Force’s Personnel Center will launch a test on how it delivers information to Airmen for the Base of Preference program. The test will provide increased vis ibility of available locations to Airmen in seven Air Force Specialty Codes, to start. If the program proves successful, AFPC will expand it.
The goal is Air Force-wide implementation and for Airmen to receive notification of their BOP status within two weeks of the advertisements’ closing.
“This is an exciting and innovative initiative that will begin to reshape how we look at enlisted assignments,” said Chief Master Sgt. Jennifer Holton, AFPC Support Airmen Career Management Branch superintendent. “This program will increase Airmen’s opportunities to relocate while also exposing them to diverse command missions, which in turns allows the Air Force to continue to develop a breadth of expertise for our enlisted force.”
The test will include the Logistics Plans (2G0X1), Materiel Management (2S0X1), RF Transmission Systems (3D1X3), Administration (3F5X1), Health Services Management (4A0X1), Contracting (6C0X1) and Financial Management and Comptroller (6F0X1) career fields. The test will also include Developmental Special Duty Airmen coming off Assignment Availability Code 50s and returning to one of the seven test AFSCs. Airmen on AAC50s serve in special jobs where the Air Force initially sets a limit on how long they serve in it.
“This change will directly impact an estimated 18,000 enlisted Airmen,” Holton said. “These seven career fields represent a diverse group of jobs present at most installations.”
AFPC will send a targeted message directly to impacted Airmen starting in April. The message will include cutoffs dates for applications submitted under the old program and the execution timeline for the test program.
Holton said the advertisement window for available locations will post for just 10 days on myPers, similar to the Overseas and Overseas Returnee/CONUS Mandatory Mover assignment cycles, and will provide the required deadline for Airmen to submit their BOP applications.
“The shorter application window is the trade-off for location visibility, as base manning can change rapidly,” said Holton. “Airmen in the field need to note how critical this 10-day listing is, compared to the previous system which allowed submissions at any time and were processed at the end of the quarter.”
AFPC is implementing additional policy changes to the BOP program as part of the test. These changes include allowing first-term Airmen in those seven test AFSCs to submit an application quarterly during their career job reservation window as well as letting Airmen request the same locations from a previously disapproved application, if the requested locations are advertised.
Another element of the test adjusts the submission timeline for Airmen in the test AFSCs with an AAC50. They will apply between the 15th and 11th month prior to the AAC50 expiration versus the current 12th through 9th-month timeline. This adjustment continues to offer the opportunity to apply for overseas assignments and then compete in the CONUS Mandatory Mover cycle.
“This test is designed to provide visibility of locations available to Airmen looking to move and is not a guarantee of BOP approval,” Holton said. “Permanent change of station rules apply to all Airmen.”
PCS rules consider an Airman’s time on station, high-year tenure, join spouse eligibility, overseas vulnerability and the losing base’s manning. AFPC will return applications that do not match the quarterly advertised locations to the Airman, advising their preferences were not advertised.
These programmatic changes do not include nor affect in-place or retraining BOP applications. Additionally, the application process will remain the same, via submission through the virtual Military Personnel Flight for all Airmen except those with an AAC 50 who apply through myPers.
For more information about Air Force personnel programs, visit the AFPC public website.