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March 7th, 2012 - Kelley Chambers

Tinker to lose 948 positions

A drawback of military personnel and operations through cuts to the Department of Defense budget outlined in Pres. Barack Obama’s 2013 budget will mean a net loss of 948 positions at Tinker Air Force Base. It will inactivate the U.S. Air Force's 3rd Combat Communications Group, also known as the Third Herd.

"Combat communicators from the 3rd CCG have served the nation in support of combat operations and humanitarian missions across the globe for more than 50 years," said Col. David Babyak, 3rd CCG commander, in a prepared statement. "The group has been a highly visible force not only in defense of our nation but in the local community, as well, spearheading base support for many community activities including Special Olympics."

above Workers at Tinker Air Force Base.

The White House reported the budget will implement a new defense strategy to spend $487 billion less in the Department of Defense’s base budget than in the 2012 budget. The move will bring the overall defense budget, which includes overseas contingency operations, to a level 5 percent below the enacted level for the previous year’s budget.

Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe's office reported, in all, Oklahoma will lose 1,131 military and civilian air force personnel. At Tinker, of the 948 losses 600 are from the Third Herd. Altus Air Force Base will lose 109 jobs. The others are spread around the state including jobs at Vance Air Force Base and in Tulsa. Two positions will be added in Norman.  

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin criticized the president’s budget and denounced the Oklahoma job cuts.

“The announced cuts to Oklahoma Air Force personnel are both disappointing and alarming,” she said in a prepared statement. “Oklahoma’s Air Force bases are not only important parts of their local communities; they play a vital role in our national defense. The decision to eliminate hundreds of military and civilian Air Force personnel will mean Oklahoma will lose jobs and the United States Air Force will be without quality units like the Third Herd.”

Photo by Mark Hancock

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