By Steve Shaw, News 9
MIDWEST CITY -- With the U.S. Air Force announcing plans to eliminate nearly 1,000 jobs at Tinker Air Force Base, businesses around nearby Midwest City are wondering what it will all mean.
The Air Force's Chief of Staff announced the cuts Tuesday afternoon in Washington D.C. Just a day earlier, General Norton Schwartz was in Oklahoma City, where he spoke about the potential of Tinker cuts at an OKC Chamber Luncheon.
Pelicans Restaurant next to Heritage Park Mall has been serving members of the Air Base for the past three decades. Owner Jim Dolezel says at least ten base employees came in Thursday for lunch. He says he normally gets even more for dinner.
Chequers Restaurant just down the road has also been serving members of the Air Base for almost 20 years. Manager David Long says Tinker employees are in and out of his restaurant every day.
Midwest City's Director of Economic Development David Burnett says it's too early to know what the cuts will bring to the local business community. Burnett says he's heard Tinker could gain some employees as early as this Fall. He says everyone just needs to take a deep breath, and see how it all plays out.
Schwartz says Tinker will lose 948 jobs in the active military, Air Force Reserve, and civilian positions.