IT professionals and engineers play many roles at AFRC
Hundreds of civilian IT and engineering positions await at AFRC. Perks include good salary, training, travel opportunities and excellent benefits, says the division chief
The Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC, Robins Air Force Base, GA) has evolved from a “standby” unit for emergencies into a major command of the active duty Air Force. AFRC currently performs about 20 percent of the work of the Air Force, including traditional and specialized flying missions.
“AFRC hires for more than 130 degreed engineering-type positions. Some are air reserve technician (ART) positions and others are standard civilian engineering positions,” says Anthony (Tony) Evans, civilian personnel division chief.
ARTs carry dual status, working as fulltime Department of Defense civil service employees and as reservists performing the same job in an AFRC unit. In their civilian roles, ARTs provide fulltime support throughout the month for their units; and as reservists in uniform, they participate in unit training assemblies in addition to annual fifteen-day active duty tours. If their units are called to fulltime active duty, they deploy as needed.
“The bulk of the positions are classified under general engineering. The rest are a combination of civil, environmental, mechanical and electrical engineering positions,” Evans explains. “We also have jobs as engineering, construction, electronics and industrial engineering technicians for those who are still working toward engineering degrees.”
AFRC has more than 300 IT positions available. “These cover a wide range of IT skills, including the hot new cyber operations area,” Evans says.
Active membership in the reserves is a condition of employment for ART jobs. This limits the candidate pool, Evans acknowledges. However, AFRC recruiters are aggressive in reaching new candidates for ART positions, he says.
“The Air Force Personnel Center (AFPC) at Randolph Air Force Base, Texas has created an enterprise recruiting team. It partners with base servicing and career field teams, civilian personnel sections, major air commands and hiring managers. Together they develop strategies for recruiting civilian airmen for internships and hard-to-fill mission critical occupations, and for improving diversity shortfalls and retention rates.” AFPC representatives attend career fairs and employment conferences to encourage prospective applicants to apply, Evans says.
A newly created recent graduates program provides employment opportunities for people who have just received technical degrees or certificates. “The program helps individuals who lack experience to explore federal civil service employment,” Evans says. “It engages them early in their work lives, before their career paths are fully established. The hope is this developmental experience in the federal government will lead them to careers in civil service.”
Each AFRC base has an equal employment opportunity (EEO) office to ensure compliance with the laws, regulations, policies and guidance that prohibit discrimination in the federal workplace, Evans notes.
“They also manage and administer special emphasis programs of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), and advise on all diversity and internal EEO-related matters,” he says. “In addition, all special observance and special emphasis initiatives to promote equal employment opportunity in OPM’s workforce fall under their authority.”
A great career choice
ARTs enjoy the best of both worlds, Evans says. “You are a civilian forty hours a week and also a reservist. By working as a civilian in direct support of your unit, you are combat ready and available for active duty in the event of mobilization,” he explains.
“ARTs receive a good salary, training and education, the opportunity to travel, and excellent benefits. They also have reemployment protection when they perform military service. The skills they acquire for their military jobs are highly marketable in private industry.”
Air Force Reserve Command
||Robins Air Force Base, GA
||8,968 air reserve
technicians; 3,938 civil
maintenance $3.1 billion;
personnel $1.7 billion;
construction $45.6 million