Officials: Position cuts don’t mean job losses

Christina Calloway

Cannon Air Force Base will be cutting 53 civilian positions but a spokesperson said Thursday that doesn’t mean 53 people will lose their jobs.

According to a press release from Cannon public affairs, 26 of the jobs being eliminated were already vacant and hadn’t been filled.

Of the remaining 27 people being affected by job cuts, the press release said the Civilian Personnel Office will work to shift them into other available positions.

According to Cannon’s Public Affairs office, absolutely all voluntary means will be exhausted before any involuntary separation measures occur.

“The civilian workforce at Cannon is an integral part of our specialized capabilities, and we simply cannot do our nation’s most important business without them,” said Col. Buck Elton, 27 Special Operations Wing commander in a statement.

The overall growth at Cannon continues as projected since their mission changed in 2007 with additional aircraft, personnel and hundreds of millions of dollars coming to the installation over the next several years, according to the statement.

“While the Air Force assesses options for an efficient force in this current budget environment, we remain absolutely dedicated to providing essential support services to our Cannon personnel and their families,” Elton said.

The cuts are part of 4,500 positions being eliminated by the Air Force that were announced Wednesday as a continuation of its FY12 Civilian Workforce Restructure, according to the press release.

The reduction builds on realignments announced in November and responds to the secretary of defense’s direction to target civilian funding at fiscal year 2010 levels.