Department of the Air Force officials are restoring bonuses but are not fully lifting a pause on duty assignment moves after an Alabama lawmaker blocked and then restored the service's ability to cover budget shortfalls this week.
Last week, the Air Force said that, because of higher-than-expected personnel costs and the delay in congressional approval to reprogram funds, it was pausing some duty assignments and reenlistment and retention bonuses. But on Friday, officials announced it "will restore funding to most military personnel programs that were suspended or closed last week," according to a press release.
The Air Force will restore the Selective Retention Bonuses and the Aviation Bonus program next week, as well as Assignment Incentive Pay and Foreign Language Proficiency Pay agreements that were paused.
The Department of the Air Force will also resume those paused permanent change-of-station orders for moves in fiscal 2023 "with the target of airmen having orders in hand at least 30 days before departure date," the service said.
But not all moves are being resumed.
Deployed airmen with a DEROS -- or date expected to return from overseas -- between October and December 2023 will remain paused, according to the service. Those return dates remain extended to January through March 2024.
"Airmen can request an exception to policy from their wing commander, for Air Force Personnel Center commander consideration if needed," the service's press release said.
Airmen with questions about their PCS orders are advised to call the Total Force Service Center at 210-565-0102, or toll-free at 800-525-0102.
"While most of the benefits have been reinstated, the Air Force will continue to communicate with airmen whose PCS orders have not been completed, specifically those with PCS moves in FY24," the service added.
House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mike Rogers, R-Ala., told Military.com last week he was holding up military reprogramming requests because the Air Force had not yet announced where it will base U.S. Space Command. A committee spokesperson told Military.com on Wednesday that the lawmaker reversed course and allowed personnel funding to go through.
Rogers and other members of Alabama's congressional delegation from both parties are increasingly upset and becoming more vocal about the Air Force's delayed deliberations in choosing between Alabama and Colorado as the permanent home for Space Command.
Whichever state wins the headquarters will also win 1,400 jobs, an economic boon of millions of dollars.
Notably, Rogers has also launched his own investigation into the basing process. In May, he requested the Air Force hand over documents to the committee related to the Space Command decision.
In a second letter sent Wednesday, Rogers demanded the documents be produced by Friday and that Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall and Space Command chief Gen. James Dickinson sit for transcribed interviews with the committee by Aug. 18.
-- Rebecca Kheel contributed to this report.
-- Thomas Novelly can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @TomNovelly.