Hundreds of airmen who left the service under the voluntary separation pay program do not have access to government medical coverage, even though they were told they did. Air Force spokesperson Rose Richeson said the service has provided medical care under the transition assistance management program for airmen who are involuntarily released from service under honorable conditions, but since the voluntary program was started in 2006, the Air Force “has not extended transitional benefits under TAMP to airmen who separated under the VSP program” in keeping with federal law. “During this year’s program, some installations did not update the member’s status correctly in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System,” Richeson said in a statement to Air Force Magazine. “This resulted in medical TAMP benefits being incorrectly issued to approximately 25 percent of the airmen separated under the VSP program.” With 4,247 airmen released under the SAP, that could mean more than 1,000 former airmen are being told they do not have the government-provided medical coverage they expected. “The Air Force is researching the specific impacts and will issue guidance to ensure airmen and families are not unfairly impacted,” Richeson said.
Rumored cuts to the F-35 from the fiscal 2025 defense budget—six from Air Force plans—would not be offset by recent Foreign Military Sales, and will disrupt ongoing Lot 19 negotiations, Pentagon and industry sources said.