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Air Force details bases absorbing employee cuts

Jan. 12, 2012 - 06:00AM   |  
By STEPHEN LOSEY   |   Comments
Airmen and civilian employees at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark., put up a cable poll on the installation in April 2011 after a tornado ripped through the base. The Air Force says a number of bases will face noticeable civilian job losses, including Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.
Airmen and civilian employees at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark., put up a cable poll on the installation in April 2011 after a tornado ripped through the base. The Air Force says a number of bases will face noticeable civilian job losses, including Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. (Air Force)

The Air Force plans to cut 598 civilian positions from Ohio's Wright-Patterson Air Force Base as part of its next round of buyouts and early retirements.

According to http://www.militarytimes.com/static/projects/pages/air-force-job-reduction-impacts.pdf">briefing documents submitted to Congress on Wednesday and obtained by Federal Times, the Wright-Patterson cuts will come from cutting headquarters and overhead, streamlining functions, "right-sizing" programs, and ending duties that would otherwise have been insourced from contractors. However, the steep civilian cuts follow an increase of 364 positions announced last November, so the net loss at Wright-Patterson will be 234.

The Air Force also plans to cut 468 civilian positions from Texas bases mostly at Joint Base San Antonio, which alone will lose 410 positions; 192 from California bases; and 310 from Colorado bases during the second round of buyouts and early retirements.

The Air Force is also http://www.militarytimes.com/static/projects/pages/air-force-congressional-report.pdf">planning to close its Logistics Management Agency at Maxwell Air Force Base's Gunter Annex in Alabama. And six other agencies would be consolidated into two field operating agencies in San Antonio.

The Air Force wants to trim 4,500 civilian positions during its second round of civilian buyouts and early retirements, which it announced Jan. 3. The Air Force hopes the voluntary early retirements and buyouts will allow it to avoid involuntary layoffs, and meet its goal of bringing staffing down to 2010 levels.

The Air Force said 1,054 employees accepted buyouts or early outs during the first round, which ended Dec. 31, and said a four-month hiring freeze last year helped it cut nearly 9,000 civilian positions.

"We have taken the initial steps to shape the future Air Force," the service said in a briefing document dated Wednesday. "We will look different than today's Air Force."

The Air Force predicts 1,100 total positions will be cut during the second round by reducing headquarters and overhead operations. Part of that will include consolidating the Air Force Personnel Center in San Antonio, the Air Force Manpower Agency at Texas' Randolph Air Force Base, and the Air Force Services Agency at Randolph into one field operating agency in San Antonio.

A second San Antonio field operating agency will be made by consolidating the Air Force Civil Engineer Support Agency at Florida's Tyndall Air Force Base, Air Force Center for Engineering and the Environment at Texas' Lackland Air Force Base, and the Air Force Real Property Agency in San Antonio. The Real Property Agency's website said its consolidation will be finished by Oct. 1.

The Air Force said 12 civilians positions will be cut when the Logistics Management Agency is shut down. Maxwell-Gunter is slated to lose 93 civilian positions as part of the latest round of cuts.

Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado would lose 164 positions, Scott Air Force Base in Illinois would lose 138 positions, Hanscom Air Force Base in Massachusetts would lose 125 positions, and Los Angeles Air Force Base would lose 87 positions.

The Pentagon would lose 58 civilian positions during the second round, in addition to the 386 lost during the first wave of cuts.

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