OKLAHOMA CITY -- Air Force officials said Wednesday that more than 200 personnel positions will be cut at Tinker Air Force Base as part of a cost-cutting effort, but they were hoping to ease the reductions through voluntary means.
The Air Force is seeking to trim about 9,000 positions overall as it prepares for substantial budget reductions over the next decade. Some of the reductions will come from reorganizing the Air Force Materiel Command, which employs the largest number of civilians, officials said.
Command for maintenance and supply missions performed at Air Logistics Centers in Oklahoma City, Georgia and Utah will be led by the Air Force Sustainment Center, which will be located at Tinker Air Force Base, officials said.
Maj. Gen. David Gillett, commander of the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center, said the realignment will mean a reduction of 269 positions at Tinker, which employs 26,000 civilian and military workers.
"We will make every effort to minimize the impact by eliminating positions that are currently vacant and through the use of voluntary retirement and separation incentives," Gillett said in a statement.
Members of Oklahoma's congressional delegation said the designation of Tinker as the Air Force Sustainment Center will lessen the impact of job losses.
"Today's announcement puts Tinker at the heart of the Air Force's drive to increase efficiency and cost effectiveness while focusing on the No. 1 goal -- supporting the warfighter," said Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla. "However, I wish Congress would have been included more in this decision-making process."
Tinker Air Force Base is one of Oklahoma's largest employers and one of five military installations in the state. It wasn't immediately known how Altus Air Force Base in Altus and Vance Air Force Base in Enid would be affected by the budget reductions.