MASCOUTAH, Ill. (AP) - Nearly 300 jobs will be cut at Scott Air Force Base in southern Illinois.
The announcement comes just weeks after the Air Force said about 320 new jobs would be located at Scott this summer to staff two cybersecurity squadrons.
The Belleville News-Democrat reports (http://bit.ly/1oWBg7R ) that the Air Force made the announcement Monday as part of a review that aims to cut about 3,500 jobs nationally and save $1.6 billion over five years.
Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James said the cuts arise from the Air Force's obligation to function at the lowest possible cost to taxpayers.
The Air Force also plans to create an Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center in an effort to cut overhead costs and centralize its installation support management.
Scott-based Air Mobility Command spokesman Mark Voorhis said it's still not clear how the cuts will affect the command, but both civilian and military jobs will be affected. He said it's "still being worked out."
The Air Force will offer voluntary early retirement programs and separation programs to lessen the impact.
Ellen Krohne, the executive director of Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois, said the group plans to help former Scott Air Force Base employees find new jobs through networking sessions, job fairs and other means. The leadership council is spearheading a campaign to protect Scott from future base closures.
Karen Pettit, a 375th Air Mobility Wing spokeswoman, declined comment until she receives more information about the cuts. The mobility wing oversees the base.
Information from: Belleville News-Democrat, http://www.bnd.com
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