The U.S. Air Force said Wednesday it is eliminating about 9,000 civilian positions and will cut 4,500 more as part of a mandate to reduce personnel costs.
The 4,500 additional positions haven't been identified, the Air Force said in a news release. The 9,000 jobs will be in management, staff and support areas.
The cutbacks come as a result of a Defense Department mandate to reduce civilian personnel costs to fiscal 2010 levels. "We clearly understand the turbulence these and future reductions will cause in the workforce," Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz said in the release. "We are making every effort to use voluntary measures to achieve reductions whenever possible."
At the same time, 5,900 civilian positions will be added in acquisition, nuclear weapons management, surveillance and reconnaissance.
About 1,000 positions will be eliminated in a restructuring of the Air Force Material Command, the Air Force's largest civilian employer, at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. The restructuring is to be completed by October 2012.
"Civilian manpower adjustments will occur at all levels of the Air Force," said Brig. Gen. Gina Grosso, manpower, organization, and resources director.
In the next several days, local leaders are to inform civilian employees of cutbacks in their workforces.
"At this time, we are not sure whether a (non-voluntary) reduction in force will be necessary," Grosso said. "We are pursuing all available voluntary force management measures to include civilian hiring controls with the goal of avoiding non-voluntary measures. Every vacancy we don't fill brings us one position closer to fiscal year 2010 levels and reduces the possibility for a reduction in force."