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Delegation Questions Air Force on Civilian Personnel Decreases at Alaska Bases

WASHINGTON DC - Reacting to the announcement that the U.S. Air Force will be eliminating 53 jobs at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson (JBER) and several at Eielson Air Force Base, the Alaska Congressional Delegation wrote a letter today to Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley and Chief of Staff of the Air Force Norton Schwartz expressing concern and asking for more details on the cuts to the workforce.

The letter expresses concern with the decision to find budget cuts by arbitrarily laying off Alaskans and calls on the Air Force to help these Alaskans find new employment.

"We are extremely concerned about workers impacted by this decision. We have to keep in mind these are real people and this bad news piles on to an already bleak outlook on jobs. More than 50 Alaskans will be dealing with the financial and emotional realities of losing their job during the holiday season. We urge you to work directly with displaced works and provide every opportunity for training and assistance to transition them into vacancies at the installation."

"We were not provided detailed justification for reductions in civilian personnel at JBER and Eielson. We understand budget constraints demand better business practices and civilian personnel decreases totaling 9,000 are now occurring at Air Force installations across the county. However, information provided to our offices to date provides no substantial evidence the Civilian Personnel Restructuring was executed in a thoughtful and concise manner to achieve savings and efficiencies."

To ensure the Air Force doesn't unjustifiably lay off more Alaskans and further compromise base support in future rounds of reductions in the civilian workforce the Alaska Delegation has requested that the Air Force provide several details regarding the layoffs.

·         Conditions of separation for eliminated civilian personnel;
·         Identifying the number and nature of open billets being eliminated;
·         Justification and details behind the elimination of billets related to joint basing at JBER.

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