The Air Force said Friday that some airmen can resume the process of moving to their next duty station, after a funding shortfall briefly threatened to derail the service’s busy summer travel season.
Now airmen who are slated to move by the end of September can get those orders approved, but those awaiting a permanent change of station in fiscal 2024 will have to wait, the service said in a release.
Troops planning to move in the next two months should receive their permanent change of station, or PCS, orders by the end of July, or at least 30 days before their departure date, the Air Force said. Service members typically receive orders 60-120 days ahead of moving day.
Airmen stationed overseas who were scheduled to return stateside between October and December still have to stay put until March 2024 at the latest. People can petition their wing commanders and the Air Force Personnel Center to make an exception.
“The Air Force will continue to communicate with airmen whose PCS orders have not been completed,” the service said.
On July 10, the service announced that higher-than-projected personnel costs had prompted it to pause most moves starting in August while it waited for Congress to green-light an infusion of cash.
Military Times previously reported that supplemental funding was delayed by a fight between Colorado and Alabama’s congressional delegations over the future home of U.S. Space Command, a decision controlled by the Air Force.
Lawmakers have since partially approved the Pentagon’s emergency request for more funds, Air Force Vice Chief of Staff Gen. David Allvin told commanders across the service in an email Friday. An Air Force spokesperson authenticated the email to Air Force Times after it was leaked to the unofficial “Air Force amn/nco/snco” Facebook page.
Allvin wrote that the Air Force would first put the cash infusion toward “strategically vital” programs related to future combat needs and deterrence.
“With this in mind, we will soon resume authenticating the remainder of orders” for 2023, he said.
New enlisted airmen and officers will continue to move, he added, and airmen awaiting assignments for short overseas tours starting in December will soon receive those orders.
“Priority consideration is being given to mandatory moves,” he wrote of those pending for fiscal 2024.
The Air Force also plans to restart a slew of programs aimed at retaining troops in critical fields, like pilots and special warfare airmen. It had paused funding to those bonus initiatives to help stop the personnel account from bleeding cash.
Rachel Cohen is the editor of Air Force Times. She joined the publication as its senior reporter in March 2021. Her work has appeared in the Washington Post, the Frederick News-Post (Md.), Air and Space Forces Magazine, Inside Defense, Inside Health Policy and elsewhere.