- "We can't afford business as usual," says the secretary of the Air Force
- New civilian jobs will be added in areas such as nuclear development and intelligence
- Thousands of civilian jobs in areas such as management and support will be cut
- The restructuring will take effect by next October
The U.S. Air Force announced Wednesday a "restructuring" in its civilian workforce that will mean a net reduction of thousands of civilian jobs.
The changes will include 9,000 job reductions in management, staff and support positions. At the same time, 5,900 new civilian jobs will be added in fields including nuclear development, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.
The Air Force said it was making the "adjustments" to follow a directive from the secretary of defense to stop civilian job growth at 2010 fiscal year levels and focus on new priorities at the same time.
"We can't be successful without our talented and experienced civilian workforce," said Secretary of the Air Force Michael B. Donley. "We are making difficult choices about how to deliberately restructure and posture the force and will continue to look for new ways of accomplishing the mission. We can't afford business as usual."
The cuts will affect bases in several states, and the local economies that rely on those bases.
Business owners near Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, are concerned about how the closure could impact their businesses, according to CNN affiliate WKEF.
"Even when the base is closed it hurts our business, so any jobs leaving would affect our tips and pockets," waitress Christy Bundy told the station.
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz said in the news release: "We are making every effort to use voluntary measures to achieve reductions whenever possible,"
The restructuring will take effect by October 1 of next year, according to the Air Force.