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Air Force to cut 238 jobs at Pearl Harbor-Hickam

By Brock Vergakis

Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 02:13 p.m. HST, Jul 14, 2014

NORFOLK, Va. >> The Air Force said Monday it will eliminate nearly 3,500 positions over the next five years, including 238 jobs at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

Virginia is being harder hit than any other state.

The military branch released its plans to save $1.6 billion under a Defense Department directive to slash its costs and staff by at least 20 percent. The plan calls for significant reductions at major Air Force commands around the country, including 742 positions at Joint Base Langley-Eustis. The installation is home to Air Combat Command, which oversees fighter jets, among other things.

The Air Force said it plans to pursue the cuts sooner, rather than later.

"We are aggressively pursuing reductions within the first year, rather than spread them out over five years as allowed by DoD," Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James said in a statement. "It's better for airmen because it provides them predictability and allows us to re-stabilize our workforce sooner."

Other major cuts include 372 positions at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio; 292 at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois; 429 at Joint Base San Antonio; and 275 at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado.

The Air Force also said its headquarters staff would lose 734 positions, including 522 positions in the National Capital Region.

Of the 3,459 positions being eliminated worldwide, 923 of those are coming from personnel who provide installation and mission support. The Air Force is creating a new center to handle much of those responsibilities, which will have a staff of 350. The Air Force has not specified where that center will be located, although it will report to Air Force Materiel Command, which is headquartered at Wright-Patterson.

The Air Force has not said how many of the positions being eliminated will be civilians, but it said would offer early retirement and voluntary separation incentive pay program to get civilians to leave.

At Joint Base Langley-Eustis, which also plays host to a major Army command, about 6,100 civilians work for the Defense Department on base. The installation has about 17,000 military personnel.

Craig Quigley, executive director of the Hampton Roads Federal Facilities and Military Alliance in Virginia, said it's too early to tell how much of an impact the cuts will have on the heavily military-dependent region.

"We have a number, but I don't know yet what that means as far as specifically identifying the impacts locally," he said. "Are those 742 billets, are some number of them currently unfilled and they're simply not going to be filled? Or does every one of the 742 have a person in it today?"

Other installations losing positions under the plan announced Monday include 167 at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana; 27 at Hill Air Force Base, Utah; 19 at Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina; 31 at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama; and 22 at Hurlburt Field, Florida.

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michaelpeters wrote:
WELCOME HAWAII to the era of living without Dan Inouye. And not having Neil in Congress doesn't help matters either.
on July 14,2014 | 12:55PM
Kingbudd wrote:
You're joking right? Really, to name Neil in the same sentence as Inouye is blasphemy...
on July 14,2014 | 01:14PM
hybrid1 wrote:
It would be a joke to believe the unprepared, non-intellect, inexperienced Schatz to take over the Inouye reins....Only Colleen Hanabusa, as U.S. Senator, can hit the ground running to stop the reduction of Military Forces in Hawaii because she is well versed in the U.S. Military Defense issues, information gained as a member of the House of Representatives Armed Service Committee. Schatz doesn't know beans about Military Defense Issues, as shown during the past three Hawaiian debates.
on July 14,2014 | 01:58PM
localguy wrote:
No one, especially Hanabooza could stop these cuts. No one should. Military must downsize, wars are over. Part of the regular expansion during war time an retraction after war time. Will not be an issue.
on July 14,2014 | 03:15PM
richierich wrote:
Wars are over? Are you posting to this site from Washington or Colorado?
on July 14,2014 | 03:25PM
PCWarrior wrote:
Uh yeah NOBODY smokes weed in Hawaii...
on July 14,2014 | 04:45PM
localguy wrote:
The war going on between your ears does not count.
on July 14,2014 | 08:15PM
Ronin006 wrote:
Localguy, wars do not end just because one side retreats from the battlefield as Obama has had the US military do in Iraq and as he is doing in Afghanistan. They end when there is a clear victor or when both sides sign a peace treaty. It is naïve to think the war against terrorists has ended.
on July 14,2014 | 04:05PM
localguy wrote:
Ronin006 - US Military cleared out of Iraq, skeleton crew left in Afghanistan. As far as our forces are concerned, these two wars are over. Did you not read this in the news paper and see on TV? As for the war on terrorism, our military is not actively engaged with large numbers of Soldiers. Naive? Only you to believe what you posted. Clearly you attended the Nei's failing educational system.
on July 14,2014 | 08:19PM
Ronin006 wrote:
Localguy, I stand by my original comments. We retreated out of Iraq and are retreating out of Afghanistan at Obama’s direction without a peace treaty with the terrorist organizations we were fighting. Oh yes, I have read reports in newspapers and have seen them on TV about Obama claiming he has ended the war in Iraq and is ending the war in Afghanistan, but the terrorists we were fighting there don’t seem to have gotten the word as they still are at war with the US. And yes, it is naïve to think they will not continue to attack us. What remains to be seen is where our next battle with them will be fought.
on July 14,2014 | 10:12PM
username_required wrote:
You mean like WWII against Germany didn't officially end until 1990?
on July 14,2014 | 09:08PM
Ronin006 wrote:
That is right.
on July 14,2014 | 10:36PM
tigerwarrior wrote:
There are approximately 160,000 active-duty soldiers deployed outside the U.S.--including 50,631 in Japan, which is more than the number of active-duty soldiers stationed here in Hawaii. So one could argue that the first ones to be cut should be those serving overseas that are sent primarily to protect U.S. economic interests (e.g., protecting transnational corporations, protecting trade routes, providing access to natural resources, access to global markets) instead of soldiers whose primary objective is national security. But then again--in this day and age--national security and economic interests abroad are so intertwined they are virtually one and the same.
on July 14,2014 | 07:19PM
localguy wrote:
Exactly. Cut the ones over seas in Hawaii as too expensive to maintain here. US Forces in Japan have most of their sustainment cost paid for by the Japanese government. Not to mention there are hundreds of Japanese who fill civilian positions for us, again all paid for by the Japanese Government Didn't know this did you? See, more expensive to maintain forces in HI. Send more back to the mainland.
on July 14,2014 | 08:23PM
South76 wrote:
Let's cut the civilian work force at these bases and employ the men and women in uniforms. Let's see how the donkeys like it; government union numbers going down...
on July 15,2014 | 12:52AM
saywhatyouthink wrote:
Military needs to be cut, like in half. it's either that or drastic medicare/medicaid cuts instead.
on July 14,2014 | 07:56PM
South76 wrote:
Hanabusa stopping the reduction process? Are you kidding me? The only thing she's going to stop is the reduction in the number of union paying government worker not the size of man/woman in uniform. Remember she is a labor lawyer.
on July 15,2014 | 12:46AM
pcman wrote:
Welcome to the power of Obama to control and shut down the voices of Hawaii: Hanabusa, Schatz, Hirono and Gabbard. First, you can blame Hawaii's native son for taking care of his heritage homeland. Then you can blame the rest of the four goons to not speak out effectively to defend the jobs of 238 families, not just jobs. Thank you all of you who voted for all five of these family killers, of Hawaii's working people. They will say they will kill the jobs by attrition, but they won't say that 238 people and families will have to go to the mainland to find jobs thereafter. Vote them all out and let them know they failed in their job working for Hawaii's people and put the next batch of reps on notice that the same will happen to them if they do not do Hawaii's business in Washington.
on July 14,2014 | 02:06PM
localguy wrote:
Quit whining. Those affected will be offered assistance. Civilians may be able to accept open jobs with other federal agencies. No state is immune to this nor should they be. DoD must cut back. Unless you would like to pay more taxes to DoD?
on July 14,2014 | 03:16PM
Ezdeewilly wrote:
I would rather pay them to the DoD than to unemployment benefits. I guess you would rather they go to "assistance"
on July 14,2014 | 06:04PM
localguy wrote:
Uhhh, assistance is unemployment, separation payment as in $25k to civilians before taxes, job search, resume, etc. Why can't you understand the federal government/DoD often cuts back just like corporate America does. Not everyone has lifetime employment, change happens. Deal with it.
on July 14,2014 | 08:27PM
localguy wrote:
No one could have prevented these cuts. Military is downsizing now the wars are over. We all knew this was coming. For DoD civilians, those closest to retirement are usually offered $25k (before taxes) to leave early. Once they leave their position is abolished.
on July 14,2014 | 03:13PM
KWAY wrote:
You'd think that with the overbloated military spending budget that they'd be able to spare civilian jobs. for the cost of a few $1000 wrenches and a few less on-post golf courses and marinas, people can keep their DOD jobs. Even though they dont carry a weapon on the front lines, they are no less important than enlisted people. Heck, even people who do aren't important to the the government, just ask returning veterans.
on July 14,2014 | 01:04PM
Kingbudd wrote:
This doesn't hurt Obama's bottom line; i.e. unemployment numbers. They are recruiting retirement age employees that will not seek unemployment compensation or those looking for other employment (by using buyouts). Since they are not employment seeking, it will not affect the unemployment numbers.
on July 14,2014 | 01:19PM
localguy wrote:
There are no more $1k wrenches, golf courses and marinas are funded primarily through user fees. DoD must cut back. It happens. Quit whining.
on July 14,2014 | 03:18PM
Maipono wrote:
So much for Obama's promise to rotate the military to the East. OMG he broke a promise!
on July 14,2014 | 01:32PM
salsacoquibx wrote:
what a shocker!!
on July 14,2014 | 01:53PM
mitt_grund wrote:
Djou will join Tea Party ultra-rights (to rise higher in their hierarchy) and help reduce the entire military and support presence here in Hawaii. He was already mouthing their panacea for the U.S. in his last go-around in Congress. We have got to get him back to finish the job. I can see it now, the first Thai-ethnic Chinese American GOP vice presidential candidate! Not a recipe for padmi Thai cuisine. Will be more chop suey.
on July 14,2014 | 01:49PM
Maipono wrote:
on July 14,2014 | 02:56PM
PCWarrior wrote:
I think he's hungry
on July 14,2014 | 04:47PM
salsacoquibx wrote:
Time to cut the pork...
on July 14,2014 | 01:52PM
what wrote:
Yay! Our debt has been "cut" from $17,591,011,483,223 to $17,591,011,533,123. The journey of a trillion dollars begins with the first penny.
on July 14,2014 | 02:15PM
South76 wrote:
Yup, let's start with the government union jobs. Look at what they are doing with the VA system, the IRS, the NSA, Immigration,etc., etc. Let's put the men and women in union at the border with Mexico, and arm them with an M16 and anyone crossing the border will be dealt with a bullet. We can't support the mouths we already have here, we can't support anymore mouth crossing the border ILLEGALY.
on July 15,2014 | 12:59AM
atilter wrote:
that's all right, folks. nothing here to worry about! and we can still play on the golf courses and swim in the marinas without skipping a beat! the affects of the federal gravy-train losses will be replaced by the monolithic choo-choo which will hire all the displaced workers. ooo - wait, come to think of it, all those high paying jobs are already taken by the carpet-baggers to do the high-tech installations. my bad! sorry!
on July 14,2014 | 02:05PM
Seawalker wrote:
After Pearl comes the post office workforce. Enough is enough. Can't be running $1 billion deficits year after year. Printing funny-money ain't it.
on July 14,2014 | 02:47PM
SteveToo wrote:
Thank you Mr. Obama. Keep it up and we'll soon be unable to defend our country.
on July 14,2014 | 03:06PM
localguy wrote:
Actually you are blaming the wrong source. Congress sets funds for DoD, not the President. Hmmm, did you attend the Nei's failing educational system?
on July 14,2014 | 03:19PM
loio wrote:
Congress sets funds for DoD? President has nothing to do with it? Sequester deal wasn't his idea? Really?
on July 14,2014 | 05:53PM
localguy wrote:
loio - Think. How many times in the news, (you do read and watch the news right?) have you seen stories on Congress must approve funding for the military. Remember when Congress willfully failed to pass our budget but made exceptions to keep military pay coming. President does not approve military funding. Sequester deal came about due to Congress's willful inability to cut the budget, they can't agree on anything but their own pay raises. Read the facts and learn. http://www.whitehouse.gov/issues/sequester
on July 14,2014 | 08:37PM
iwanaknow wrote:
This is the benefit of the peace dividend?
on July 14,2014 | 03:44PM
Ronin006 wrote:
There is no need to worry, folks. The dismantling of the greatest military the world has ever known will come to a screeching halt and go immediately into reverse in 2016 when the anti-military radical in the White House is replaced by a Republican who understands that the primary function of the Federal government under the Constitution is national defense.
on July 14,2014 | 03:44PM
WestSideTory wrote:
Ronin006...although I agree with you. It will take another 8 years to reverse this hallowing of our military by this President. In the mean time our enemies will get stronger and we'll have another 911 or Pearl Harbor to contend with.
on July 14,2014 | 04:22PM
saywhatyouthink wrote:
Do you 2 know how much money the US spends on defense? More than all the other countries in the world put together. A loss of 3000 Air Force jobs is not going to "hallow out" the military. Besides, Hillary Clinton will likely be in the white house in 2016.
on July 14,2014 | 08:09PM
South76 wrote:
and we'll have more Benghazi incident because of her...too bad we can't have a military coup here, there are some incompetent leaders that need to be ousted and ours is just one of them
on July 15,2014 | 01:03AM
localguy wrote:
You both are so full of it.
on July 14,2014 | 08:38PM
star08 wrote:
Our militarism is not defense. If we were defending ourselves we would have a much smaller military. What we are doing is ensuring access to oil for our bloated elite class.
on July 14,2014 | 09:44PM
FluidMotion wrote:
Agreed Star. I only wish our military defended us. Obama is willfully allowing an ongoing and unchecked invasion of the US from our porous borders. Please defend us military.
on July 14,2014 | 09:58PM
South76 wrote:
The last I heard the US is putting out more oil than ever.
on July 15,2014 | 01:05AM
soundofreason wrote:
Gee, Hawaii might just have to work to get employers here now. To see how a real state works for jobs see......http://startup.ny.gov/
on July 14,2014 | 08:06PM
SueH wrote:
These must've been non-critical, "make work" jobs in the first place......Their being cut has nothing to do with Inouye or Abercrombie, other than those politicians "pork barreled" and "sliced the fat hog" to get them for Hawaii's incompetent labor force in the first place.
on July 14,2014 | 08:26PM
pbenav wrote:
Welcome to the real world. Chicken Hawk Republicans always start wars with false flag operations with no real goal to win any war. Their only real goal is to increase the National Debt by not providing any funding for the war effort. The Corporate War Industrial Complex gets to spend billions of tax payer dollars and in turn realize a huge war booty for their Tax Exempt Corporate and Federal Reserve Bank loans and Congress gets the tax payer to pay for the war. Look back at all of the wars since WWII and you will see that all wars were not and did not have any goal of military victory. The longer the war the better. Respectfully, USN SPECOMM 1970-1993
on July 14,2014 | 08:56PM
Ronin006 wrote:
You say Chicken Hawk Republicans always start wars with false flag operations with no real goal to win any war. Please name those wars. It may surprise you to know that Democrats were in power when we entered the major wars of the past 100 years, those being World War I, World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. Ok, I will concede that Republicans were in power when we entered the war against terrorists, but that is one war only. So, how did reach the nonsensical conclusion that Chicken Hawk Republicans always start wars with false flag operations with no real goal to win any war?
on July 14,2014 | 10:29PM
sailfish1 wrote:
The military has more civilian contractors than actual fighting men. It is bloated with inefficient civilian government workers (we all know about government workers, right?) and laying some of them off will not affect anything. It might even start getting more of them to start doing something useful.
on July 14,2014 | 09:03PM
South76 wrote:
I agree with you, let's start cutting down on government union jobs; those government union workers have messed up the VA system, the IRS, INS, etc...
on July 15,2014 | 01:09AM
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