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OCO funds support the force

(U.S. Air Force illustration/Tech. Sgt. John Ayre)

(U.S. Air Force illustration/Tech. Sgt. John Ayre)

FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. -- As America strategically supports the infrastructure around the world by sending armed forces to deployed locations, installations at home continue to safely meet operational requirements utilizing aircraft, equipment and logistics all while caring for their service members.

When sending service members to deployed locations, military installations run the risk of losing manpower. The Department of Defense implemented the Overseas Continuous Operations fund to help balance manpower and to help execute operations globally.

The OCO fund is a separate source of funding operated by the DOD to fund military units with reimbursable overhires. This fund allows commanders to receive additional support to recruit civilian personnel to fill positions left vacant during the time military members are deployed.

Fairchild’s Civilian Personnel Office processes all squadron commander’s OCO overhire requests to better provide consistency in a workspace when a military member deploys.

“When service members deploy one after the other, there might not be much of a hand-off with the responsibilities within their units,” said Kaylynn Martin, 92nd Force Support Squadron Civilian Personnel Office human resource specialist. “With the OCO overhire in place, a unit can have some stability and continuity to better fulfill the garrison mission.”

The units that benefit the most from the OCO overhire program often have rotational deployers.

“Our fire department is made up of 60 percent military firefighters and 40 percent civilians,” said Kimo Kuheana, 92nd Civil Engineer Squadron Fire Department fire chief. “With the constant rotation of our military firefighters being deployed throughout the year, we are constantly struggling with manpower issues. By having the availability to use OCO funding, it allows us to have the correct manpower to fully respond to our local missions.”

The partnership between the DOD and civilian personnel is vital to maintain readiness across all forces.

For more information about OCO overhires, contact the Civilian Personnel Office at 247- 4313, or for employment visit www.USAjobs.com.