Air Force approves cold weather assignment incentive pay for Alaskan service members

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Carson Jeney

Effective April 1, the Department of the Air Force approved a new incentive pay for Airmen and Guardians assigned to qualifying bases in the U.S. where the temperature is expected to drop below minus 20 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Incoming unaccompanied Airmen on Eielson will be eligible for $2,000 while Airmen with dependents will be eligible for $4,000.

“For the last several years, the Army has offered soldiers a similar pay for service in Alaska,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. David Nahom, commander, Alaskan North American Aerospace Defense Command Region, Alaskan Command and Eleventh Air Force. “Now service members from both primary branches based in Alaska are covered.”

Cold Weather Assignment Incentive Pay is a single lump sum payment given to Airmen and Guardians after signing an agreement to serve a prescribed tour length of at least 12 months, depending on the qualifying location.  

“This new cold weather pay is a tremendous relief for our new Airmen as they prepare for life in interior Alaska,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Paul Townsend, commander, 354th Fighter Wing.

This payment intends to ease the financial burden of purchasing certain cold weather essentials, such as extreme cold weather gear, all-season and/or snow tires, tire mounts and alignments, engine block heaters and emergency winter car kits, as well as further incentivizing assignments. 

"Many of our service members are not accustomed to winter conditions, and a majority have no experience with Arctic conditions,” said U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Heath Tempel, senior enlisted leader, Alaskan NORAD Region, Alaskan Command, and command chief, Eleventh Air Force. “This new pay allows our members and families to set themselves up upon arrival for a safe and enjoyable assignment here in Alaska."

Although AIP-CW is effective April 1, the first pay date is anticipated for July 1, 2024, meaning Airmen and Guardians who move to a qualifying location between April 1 and June 30 will receive payment retroactively.

“Mission success starts with people and this new incentive pay supports the unique transition Airmen and families go through in setting up life in Alaska’s interior,” said U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Sean Milligan, command chief, 354th FW.

The official guidance memorandum can be found here