Hundreds of local Air National Guard jobs are on the chopping block as part of the Defense Department’s plan to cut $500 billion over the next decade.
Missouri Congressman Todd Akin, chairman of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, says more than 700 servicemen at Jefferson Barracks in St. Louis and Scott Air Force Base near Belleville, Ill. may lose their jobs by the end of the fiscal year.
Scott Air Force Base plans to cut more than 300 jobs as part of an Air Force restructuring plan and could get rid of more positions.
Base spokeswoman Karen Petitt said 321 jobs will be cut. Of those 122 are vacant. The base about 25 miles east of St. Louis has 5,085 civilian jobs so the cuts represent 6.3 percent of its civilian positions.
The Air Force is cutting about 9,000 jobs around the country to save money and restructure civilian operations.
The general who led the logistics arm of the United States military through the troop surge in Afghanistan, earthquakes in Haiti and Japan and combat operations in Libya has relinquished command.
Gen. Duncan McNabb will retire in November after 37 years in the Air Force. At a Scott Air Force Base ceremony today, he handed the reins of the United States Transportation Command to Gen. William M. Fraser. Defense secretary Leon Panetta and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Martin Dempsey, were among the dignitaries in attendance.
A Scott Air Force Base spokesman says authorities were unable to pinpoint what caused Wednesday's illnesses and a brief evacuation of that portion of the installation. The spokesman says the investigation is now closed.
Updated at 3:11 pm: According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the three people taken to the hospital were an airman and two civilian base employees. Col. Michael Hornitschek told the Post that the package had been isolated and the FBI had been called into investigate as part of standard procedure.
The Belleville News Democrat reports that the work the men and women at U.S. Transportation Command, Air Mobility Command and the Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command at Scott Air Force Base do every day will be featured Friday on the television program Modern Marvels.
According to the paper the episode will highlight "Packaging" and explore the technology and ingenuity required to create and sustain movement of goods.
The hour long show will air at 8 p.m on Friday, Jan. 13 and is available online after it airs.