FAA to DOD

siidman

Senior Member
Feb 13, 2009
226
0
16
I’ve done some searching around and got a few answers but wanted to get some more dependable advice/info/experience from you guys.
I’m a controller in the FAA at houston tracon, lvl 12. I’ve traveled a bit overseas and it’s been me and the wife’s dream to live and work somewhere other than the US. So does the retirement age/requirement remain the same, 25 years or age 50? Is it also based off the high 3? Is the pension calculated the same? I see the pay transfer isn’t always the same but would I generally go to the top of whatever gs lvl the job is in and are there any other pay bumps to be aware of? I saw an additional 5% atc pay, do you get the standard incentive pays like Sunday, night dif, holidays? Also, is 5 years the max that one can work abroad? What do they do after that? Give return rights or hiring preference somewhere in the states or how does it work?
Lots of questions, but I appreciate and answers that can be provided.
Thank you
 

JayTango

Junior Member
Feb 21, 2016
110
0
16
The civilians from when I was in the AF got those premium pays you mentioned, extra pay for being a watch supervisor, and I think extra pay for being ATC.

If your current base pay exceeds the top of the let’s say the GS12 pay, which I’m sure it is, then you’ll be paid the top of that payband.


If you’re qualified there are job postings for 2 jobs in Germany right now, one for Ramstein and one for Spangdahlem for ATC but I think they’re for people with running the automations program at facilities or as a facility manager/chief controller.. I would apply if I qualified because I heard they don’t work weekends, American holidays, AND German holidays!
 

siidman

Senior Member
Feb 13, 2009
226
0
16
I did see those job postings and I’d love to live in Ramstein but I’m in the beginning stages of this journey. I want to learn all the facts of the the agency transfer before I do anything. I’m 35 now and realistically, from what I’ve learned so far, the terms are for only 5 years I’d probably wait til my later 40s and do this as a twilight tour and let it be my last and retire. Unless I come to learn something that will push me to do it now.
 

odotsal

Rookie
Jan 28, 2015
50
0
6
Hey man, I was in similar situation last year. I was a CPC at a level 12 TRACON and applied to an overseas DoD job. It was GS12 and I got selected. As far as benefits go, they’re exactly the same. Same FERS, same high 3 calculation, same 25 years at any age or 20 years and at least 50 years old for retirement, and same TSP and employer matching. Your pay in particular will be the top of the GS level plus 30% for radar or 25% for tower, unless the locality is higher.. If you go overseas you’ll get quite a bit more in extra pay such as cola and housing allowance. 5 years is the max at any overseas location. The ultimate reason I turned it down was how they handle your next assignment. You enter PPP, priority placement program. The DoD says they have an opening in North Dakota, take it or resign. I’m not kidding. That actually happened. I thought I’d be able to bounce around internationally for a while but not the case. Also, everything mentioned is true of the Air Foce 2152 positions. I’m not sure if there are differences between the branches.
 

siidman

Senior Member
Feb 13, 2009
226
0
16
Hey man, I was in similar situation last year. I was a CPC at a level 12 TRACON and applied to an overseas DoD job. It was GS12 and I got selected. As far as benefits go, they’re exactly the same. Same FERS, same high 3 calculation, same 25 years at any age or 20 years and at least 50 years old for retirement, and same TSP and employer matching. Your pay in particular will be the top of the GS level plus 30% for radar or 25% for tower, unless the locality is higher.. If you go overseas you’ll get quite a bit more in extra pay such as cola and housing allowance. 5 years is the max at any overseas location. The ultimate reason I turned it down was how they handle your next assignment. You enter PPP, priority placement program. The DoD says they have an opening in North Dakota, take it or resign. I’m not kidding. That actually happened. I thought I’d be able to bounce around internationally for a while but not the case. Also, everything mentioned is true of the Air Foce 2152 positions. I’m not sure if there are differences between the branches.
Thanks for answering pretty much everything.
So a job that’s out now in Ramstein, the top of the band is around 98k. So your saying on top of that they add 25-30% plus cola and whatever else? If so, that’s pretty good. And is your high 3 calculated with that additional 25-30% Do you know how the raises work? Do you get a raise along with the military or based on what federal workers get?
With the preferred placement are you mostly ensured to get placed somewhere else even though it may not be a very good location? And did they say they were going to pay for your move overseas?
So are you still with the FAA? I was thinking that if I got a crappy duty station after somewhere overseas I’d try to get back in the FAA but if not, oh well.
 

odotsal

Rookie
Jan 28, 2015
50
0
6
Glad to help. Your questions aren’t necessarily answered prior to saying yes.

So if top of the bad for the position is $98k, that means it’s GS13. Your FAA basic pay is greater than that so you’d be $98,317. Then add an additional 30% (if radar) to get $127,812. Also, for Air Force controllers, they give you an extra 5% ssr on top of the $127k, which is a bonus specialty pay. Raises are federal raises. You are guaranteed continued employement as long as you take wherever they send you, crappy locations possible. The listing should disclose whether it’s a paid move... mine would’ve been a paid move there and back, or rather, wherever they sent me next. I had the same plan as you in that I would try to come back to the FAA if they offered me an undesirable location. One thing to consider with that plan is how much money you could potentially be losing in annual pay.

So right now you’re a federal employee making level 12 pay. The move to DoD will be a pay cut in basic pay (no locality). The move back to FAA from DoD will use your current SF50 to determine your pay. So lets say you’re at the top of GS13, $98k. Well upon coming back to the FAA you’d get $98k (less if the top of the band is below that) plus the facility’s locality percentage. That may not be much of a difference to you, but for me, it was too great. The top of the band for GS12 is $82k. Just in basic rate alone, I would have been leaving $27,000 on the table going FAA to DoD to FAA. That was the second biggest reason for me to decline.