Civilian Personnel: the one-stop HR shop for civilians

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Bryan Crane
  • 509th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
Civilians are a critical part of everyday operations across base. However, the individuals who handle employment-related issues for this vital group often tend to fly under the radar.

The men and women of the 509th Force Support Squadron Civilian Personnel Section offer a "one-stop shop" service for civilians at Whiteman Air Force Base, providing a wide array of information and resources on key personnel issues.

"Our main purpose is to handle all human resource issues for the civilians," said Brian Nash, 509th FSS civilian personnel officer. "We deal with everything from the hiring process right up through retirement."

The Civilian Personnel section provides advice and guidance for all civilians on base.

"We service 660 employees here," Nash said. "We work with civilians from the 509th Bomb Wing, 442nd Fighter Wing, all detachments on base. We also work with some employees' off base at Rosecrans Air National Guard Base, Mo., Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., and Fort Leavenworth, Kan."

The main areas Civilian Personnel handles are staffing and employee management/labor relations.

"Staffing deals with all civilian job movement on base," Nash said. "Our employee management and labor relations section deals with anything concerning bargaining unit employees, the union (local AFGE 2361), the installation's Labor Management Agreement, benefits, leave and employee conduct."

In recent years, a large portion of civilian personnel services has been centralized at the Air Force Personnel Center. Although there have been changes, Nash and the rest of his office are available to civilians for all types of questions.

"Most employees feel it's quicker to go through our office...; we can answer the basic benefits questions," Nash said. "We want to make things easier for all of our civilians."

"Employees prefer coming to us with their questions," said Chrystal Hampton, 509th FSS human resources assistant. "We will try to answer it right away, or we have the resources to find out the answer to nearly every question."

Nash added that employees are encouraged to call AFPC first regarding their questions concerning benefits and worker's compensation, as AFPC has trained specialists who are able to answer their questions.

Civilian Personnel is also the place to go to for a civilian spouse who holds a federal job and whose spouse is PCSing.

"When a civilian's spouse gets orders, it means they themselves will have to find a new job at their next base," said Terri Rizzolo, human resources specialist. "We can place them in the Priority Placement Program, which tries to match them up with another job at the base they are going to."

This program helps ease the stress on the person PCSing - the main focus of Civilian Personnel in general, said Nash.

"We want to make life easier for the civilians working here on our base," Nash said.

Civilians are encouraged to call 660-687-6475 to schedule an appointment to discuss personnel issues. Walk-ins are also welcome.