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News > Joint Base Charleston; what does it mean for personnel
Joint Base Charleston; what does it mean for personnel

Posted 12/2/2009   Updated 12/2/2009 Email story   Print story


by Trisha Gallaway
437th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

12/2/2009 - CHARLESTON AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. -- In the first of four town hall meetings this week, Air Force and Navy personnel are learning where they fit into what will soon be known as Joint Base Charleston.

"This is our first major communication to discuss Joint Base Charleston," said Col. Benjamin Wham, 437th Mission Support Group commander.

The Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Base Realignment and Closure committee say Joint Basing is a concept, which calls for two or more adjacent or nearby installations to consolidate installation management functions and be run by a designated service, which in the case of Joint Base Charleston, will be the Air Force.

Overall, joint basing will preserve the missions and capabilities and identities of both Charleston AFB and Naval Weapons Station Charleston while focusing on optimizing installation management.

"It's important we get this right," said Navy Capt. Glen Little, the commanding officer at Naval Weapons Station Charleston. "We're making sure everyone is truly a part of the team."

During the town hall Lt. Col. Kevin Riley, 437th Airlift Wing Joint Base Charleston coordinator, pointed out that the air force base and the weapons station are not strangers to working together to achieve a common goal.

"Together we made the Mine-Resistant, Ambush-Protected vehicles a success," he said.
Joint basing is the pilot to standardizing base installation management services across the DOD.

Between Charleston AFB and the Naval Weapons Station Charleston, there are 49 installation support functions. These functions range anywhere from food services and legal support to installation law enforcement operations.

However, the hot topic during the town hall meeting was, of course, civilian jobs, both Air Force and Navy.

Will civilians lose their jobs during the transition?

"This [joint base] is not a mandate to cut jobs," said Colonel Riley. "It's about becoming smarter, better and more efficient."

Because the Air Force is the lead agency for the transition, all Navy civilian jobs will transfer into Air Force positions.

"Job descriptions may change a bit and it may say Air Force instead of Navy, but at this point in time nobody's going to lose their job."

Navy Non- Appropriated Fund civilians are scheduled to begin their transfer in to the Air Force Personnel system Oct. 1, 2010, and Navy Appropriated Fund civilians will being their transfer Oct. 10.

When the transfer occurs, Navy employees will retain their current jobs, pay plan, series, grade and pay as well as benefits.
With the termination of the National Security Personnel System, some in attendance were wondering how this will affect them.

"We have to wait for DOD guidance before moving out of NSPS back into GS," said Sally Simmons, a personnel management specialist from the 437th Force Support Squadron.
While this is the first open dialogue with employees about Joint Base Charleston, it won't be the last.

"We plan to do this again as things develop," said Colonel Riley.

For more information about Joint Base Charleston visit the Joint Base Charleston Community of Practice Web site at

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