Air Force cuts hit home in Missouri
The Air Force is responding to the federal government’s 2013 budget changes by cutting Air Force personnel jobs throughout the U.S. KBIA looked into how these cuts will affect Missouri Air Force bases.The cuts will eliminate 5 percent of the roughly five hundred thousand member Air Force nationwide. The Air Force will eliminate about five thousand Air National Guard, four thousand Active Duty, and nine hundred Air Force Reserve positions in either this year or next year. In Missouri, about 280 jobs are proposed for cuts. A spokesperson from Whiteman Air Force base in Knob Noster would not answer questions about the 40 proposed job cuts there. Lieutenant Rachel Savage would only recite a short statement.
“The Air Force followed Secretary of Defense Guidance, focusing reduction in overhead and support areas while minimizing the impact to functions tied to aircraft operations and maintenance, acquisition excellence, and the nuclear enterprise,” Savage said.
Missouri Congressman Todd Akin issued a press release saying that eliminating Air Force personnel is a poor way to treat those who serve their country. Karen Petitt is the Chief of Public Affairs at Scott Air Force base in Illinois. She says not all of the job cuts will be layoffs.
“A lot of these reductions will come through natural attrition. So as people separate, or as they retire, some of those positions may be coming off,” Petitt said.
Pettit says the final decisions on which positions will be eliminated have not been made yet.