Tinker expects major job loss

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TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. – Officials say almost 1,000 servicemen and women will be out of a job after the Air Force announced the deactivation of a local unit Tuesday. Budget cuts will make 3,900 active duty personnel, 5,100 Air National Guard members and 900 Air Force Reserve members jobless.

Servicemen and women at Tinker Air Force are some of those targeted.

Officials at the base say the forced structure changes will result in a net loss of 948 active duty military, Air Force Reserve and Air Force civilian positions.

Most of those affected belong to the Third Communications Group at Tinker AFB, which will be deactivated.

The remainder of the cuts will be spread across multiple base units.

While any cut is difficult, that reduction represents less than 4 percent of the total Tinker workforce.

However, the Air Force announced that it will offer support programs to help airmen translate their military skills into the civilian job market.

“In this economy, we had to make difficult choices to align with the new strategic guidance and with the cuts required by the Budget Control Act over the next 10 years,” Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz said. “Finding the proper balance between force structure, readiness, activity levels and modernization was essential.”