Hill job losses to total 261

Nov 4 2011 - 6:22am

HILL AIR FORCE BASE -- Hill Air Force Base, Utah's top single-site employer, will lose 261 jobs as part of a major Air Force restructuring plan.

A statement issued Thursday morning by Maj. Gen. Andrew Busch said the jobs will be cut during the next two years and include only civilian positions.

Busch said all personnel management options, including normal attrition, voluntary early retirement and incentive opportunities, will be used to minimize the impact to base personnel.

Busch's announcement comes one day after the Air Force released details of its plan, which includes the elimination of 9,000 civilian jobs throughout the force in a cost-saving effort. There could be more reductions to come later.

The loss of jobs isn't the only big impact the restructuring plan has at Hill. The plan also includes a downgrade of the Ogden Air Logistics Center.

Under the new structure, the Air Force Materiel Command's maintenance and supply mission will be led by the new Air Force Sustainment Center at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma. The new organization will consolidate oversight of most missions now performed at the Air Force's three logistics centers, one of which is at Hill.

The Ogden Air Logistics Center will be renamed the Ogden Air Logistics Complex and its workforce will report to the new AFSC. The two-star general leadership position that has headed the organization at Hill will be replaced with a one-star general who would then report to a three-star general headquartered at Tinker.

The 309th Maintenance Wing at Hill and all its subordinate groups will directly report to the Air Logistics Complex. Hill's 75th Air Base Wing will report not to the general on base, but up a separate chain of command at Tinker.

"We greatly appreciate the community's support and understanding as we implement these cost-saving initiatives," Busch said. "Hill Air Force Base will continue to play a key role in Air Force logistics and critical support to the war fighter."

Rick Mayfield, executive director of the Military Installation Development Authority, the group working on the Falcon Hill project at Hill, said he still doesn't know exactly how the restructure will impact the project.

"The bottom line is, we want the numbers," Mayfield said. "We feel like this was done under a cloak of secrecy and we have no facts. We want the Air Force to show us how they evaluated this and they haven't done it yet."

The Falcon Hill project encompasses 550 acres on the base in a $1.5 billion public/private venture that could result in 8 million square feet of new office space and support restaurants and hotels on Hill's west side.

"We want to know if they considered Falcon Hill in this," Mayfield said. "We really have no idea whether they did or didn't, but I don't believe the Air Force would back out on that commitment."

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