The Air Force is offering bonuses up to $75,000 to entice the top enlisted ranks of explosive ordnance disposal airmen to push off retirement and remain on the job.
“Retaining the experience and knowledge gained from their years on the job will ensure the small career field remains strong,” said Capt. Carrie Volpe, a spokeswoman for the Air Force secretary. Because of the field’s stressful mission of detecting and disarming bombs and heavy deployment rotation, Volpe said “it can be difficult to keep enough senior enlisted EOD airmen to mentor and lead younger ranks.”
“The high operational tempo and combat intensity experienced by the EOD career field make it difficult to stabilize manning at sustainable levels for senior noncommissioned officers,” she said. “The experience senior NCOs provide is key to executing the Air Force mission by ensuring highly trained and qualified regular Air Force airmen for the future.”
The bonus amount is $30,000 for a three-year service agreement, $50,000 for four years, and $75,000 for five years. The offer took effect January 29, 2019 and can’t be authorized retroactively.