Washington • The Air Force said Wednesday it plans to eliminate 9,000 civilian jobs in a cost-saving move, with more reductions to come later as part of a military-wide effort to adjust to a new era of defense spending cuts.
"We clearly understand the turbulence these and future reductions will cause in the workforce," Gen. Norton A. Schwartz, the Air Force chief of staff, said in an announcement that triggered criticism from members of Congress from states affected by the changes. Schwartz said the Air Force would try hard to achieve the job reductions through attrition and other management moves to avoid forced layoffs.
After growing rapidly for a decade, the Pentagon budget is headed for substantial reductions. The Obama administration is committed to cuts of between $450 billion and $465 billion over the next 12 years and cuts approximately double that size could be imposed depending on the outcome of congressional budget negotiations.