Job cuts hit maintenance force

Last month, the Air Force announced its intention to cut 3,700 airmen, including more than 2,000 officers, from its active duty force. This past weekend, Air Force officials announced that they will look to cut airmen in maintenance, a career field that is frequently seen at Robins Air Force Base.

The Air Force is only authorized by Congress to have 331,700 active duty airmen. Its current force strength is projected at 335,407.

The Air Force has identified about a dozen career fields to cut airmen from the force. Included on that list is the “21A” Aircraft Maintenance career identifier.

If airmen are leaving the force, they may not have to go far to find work.

The Air Force will be adding more than 9,000 civilians to its payroll, concurrent with the cuts in the active duty. Last month, Maj. Gen. Polly Peyer announced that Robins Air Force Base will be hiring more than 700 new civilian employees during a speech to the annual Requirements Symposium in Perry. Airmen have until May 28 to request an early separation or an early retirement. Airmen who are approved for an early exit from the Air Force will be discharged before Sept. 1.

A Robins Air Force Base spokesman said base personnel officials have not been informed on how to proceed with the cuts.

To contact writer Thomas L. Day, call 744-4489.