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Posted: February 16, 2018 9:32 a.m.
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Town hall addresses possible RIF

Pat Young/

Resource Management Officer, William Jeffers, assists Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield garrison commander, Col. Jason Wolter, answer questions at the Personnel Town hall, Feb. 13, at Fort Stewart.

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Hundreds of Department of Defense employees attended the Fort Stewart Personnel Town Hall, Feb. 13 at the Main Post Chapel.

The event was presented by the Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield garrison commander, Col. Jason A. Wolter, to ensure transparency in the event of a reduction in force, which may affect Fort Stewart and several other garrisons such as Fort Hood, Fort Bragg and Aberdeen Proving Grounds.

Wolter opened the event by thanking the team for demonstrating that the garrison remains one of the Army's premier power projection platform.  He applauded the workforce's efforts in the continued deployment of 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team to Korea; the continuing transition of the 2nd Brigade from an infantry brigade to the nation's 15th armored brigade combat team, and in taking care of Soldiers and their Families - every day.

Wolter said he was "proud and impressed" by the team's efforts.  He also said the community looks forward to the return of the 3rd Infantry Division headquarters, which is expected in mid-April.

But he also wanted to continue his efforts to keep employees informed of developments following the Installation Management Commander's request for a reduction in force to the Department of the Army, made earlier in 2017.

The town hall was the fourth in a series to address the installation's ongoing efforts to reach its adjusted Table of Distribution and Allowances.  The TDA is used to determine the type and quantity of positions the installation is authorized.

During the Aug. 22 town hall, the Fort Stewart Deputy Garrison Commander, Paul Stuart, explained that personnel in positions that are no longer authorized on the TDA are over hires.  The installation is expected to reduce its over hires to zero by the end of the fiscal year.

Today, with attrition, management reassignments and separation incentives, the number of over hires currently on Fort Stewart's TDA is less than 50 personnel.

"I didn't have any expectations before coming to the town hall," said Angela Murphy who works with Survivor Outreach at ACS. "I figured we'd find out what we find out, and roll with it."

Wolter said the installation would continue toward its goal by October through attrition, management directed reassignments, and separation incentives such as the Voluntary Early Retirement Program and Voluntary Separation Incentive Program.  He added VERA/VSIP will be made available April 2-13. He said people accepting this option will be off the rolls by June 30.

But the installation also has to plan in case the RIF is approved.   Wolters said if a RIF is initiated,  other authorities come into play to help position and move people.

 Planning for contingencies, he said the Fort Stewart Civilian Personnel Advisory Center will conduct a mock RIF to determine what positions and personnel will be considered over hires.   Wolter said the mock RIF will be complete by March 31, with notices to possible over hires being provided by April 1.

During this and other personnel town halls, Wolter, Stuart, and the garrison resource management officer, Bill Jeffers, said employees could help by updating their resumes to  ensure they reflect current education and training, work experience,  qualifications, and veterans' preference.

Murphy said she learned a few things from the event that she could use to help prepare for any developments.

"I'll update my resume, stay flexible, and drive-on," Murphy said.

Garrison employees seeking more information are encouraged to talk to their immediate supervisors, the Garrison RMO, or the Fort Stewart CPAC.

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