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​The Air Force will begin implementing civilian reduction in force authorities through April 4 after a major command needs assessment conducted last August identified more than 1,000 civilian overages at 48 Air Force installations, according to a Jan. 6 release. Under the RIF authority, the Air Force can either lower a civilian’s grade or choose to retain pay and grade levels. It also can waive qualifications to place civilian employees in other open jobs. Remaining employees will receive priority consideration for future DOD job vacancies, states the release. “Voluntary efforts to balance the civilian workforce since fiscal year 2014 have moved us significantly closer to our target manning levels,” said Lt. Gen. Gina Grosso, deputy chief of staff for manpower, personnel, and services. “We have reduced the number of affected employees through several rounds of voluntary separation and retirement programs as well as reassignments to vacant positions.” The Air Force introduced its third round of voluntary early retirement authority and voluntary separation incentive pay for civilian employees in June 2015. “The Air Force recognizes and strives to balance the invaluable contributions of our civilian workforce with the fiscal realities under which the DOD and the government as a whole are operating,” said Debra Warner, director of civilian force management policy, in the release.