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Sunday, 06 April 2014 08:07

Scott Air Force Base to lose 99 jobs

MASCOUTAH, Ill. (AP) — The Air Force says roughly 100 jobs are being phased out in a unit that provides technical services at an Illinois air base in suburban St. Louis.

The Air Force Network Integration Center cuts at Scott Air Force Base involve 99 positions. Fifty-three of them are civilian jobs.

Air Force spokesman Andy Roake says the eliminations expected to take place through 2015 are due to budget constraints.

The jobs include middle-level management, staff and policy consultation positions.

The Air Force recently announced plans to cut 22,500 positions this year.

The Scott base is about 25 miles east of St. Louis.

Published in Local News

U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff General Mark Welsh will visit Scott Air Force Base Friday afternoon at the invitation of Illinois Senator Dick Durbin.  

Senator Durbin chairs the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee which oversees discretionary spending for the nation’s military, including its bases.

The General, the Senator and other members of Congress will meet with leaders from the base and surrounding community to discuss Scott’s continued importance to the security of the nation and for the need to not only keep the base open, but consider it for expansion. 

Published in Local News
Thursday, 20 February 2014 03:32

Personnel cuts coming to Ft. Leonard Wood

   Military personnel cuts will take a big bite out of Fort Leonard Wood.  The largest base in Missouri is expected to lose one-thousand soldiers by October 2015 as part of budget cutting across the U.S. military.
   Fort Leonard Wood CO, Army Major General Leslie Smith outlined the cuts Wednesday at a town hall meeting on the base. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that about seven-thousand people in uniform work at the base, known mainly for training new recruits, military police and engineers.  The paper reports the cuts will come from Forces Command, a less visible group that deploys soldiers overseas.  
   Personnel cuts are also expected to affect Scott Air Force Base, but the extent of those cuts isn't yet known.
Published in Local News
Tuesday, 04 February 2014 09:45

Mascoutah police investigate student threat

Parents in Mascoutah are breathing a sigh of relief. Police in the Illinois community had additional officers at the high school Tuesday morning after a 15 year old student, who lives on Scott Air Force Base, made references in text messages to killing everyone he knows, and then killing people at school.
There was no reference of weapons mentioned in the texts.  Police Chief Bruce Fleshren says the student was texting his girlfriend Monday night when the threats were made.
Police received information from Mascoutah High School Principal Sandy Jouglard saying she was getting phone calls because there was supposedly information on Facebook about the threats.   
Officers began investigating and eventually got to the source. Chief Fleshren says contact was made with the juvenile and his parents and there was no indication that any threats could be carried out.  It will be determined by the school if the student returns, and the investigation will be reviewed by the State’s Attorney’s Office after all reports are completed for any possible charges.
The school later released a “robo-call” to advise parents of the situation and that students should attend classes. 
 
Published in Local News

Civilian employees, who were furloughed from Scott Air Force Base last week, are back at work.  Scott spokeswoman Karen Petitt says the 35-hundred affected workers were notified Sunday that they should be back on the job today.

The decision came after Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel this weekend ordered 350,000 military personnel, furloughed by the federal government's shutdown, back on the job.  Those workers at Scott represent about two-thirds of the installation's non-military staff of 13,000 employees.  Scott Air Force Base is one of the region's largest employers.

Published in Local News

MASCOUTAH, Ill. (AP) - The federal government's shutdown is affecting thousands of civilian workers at southwestern Illinois' Scott Air Force Base.

Some two-thirds of the civilian workforce at the installation east of St. Louis - or nearly 3,500 workers - came to work Tuesday before being promptly sent home on unpaid furlough.

They'll stay that way until the end of the government shutdown that began early Tuesday.

The remaining civilian employees on the 13,000-worker base are exempt.

Air Force Col. Kyle Kremer is commander of the base's primary air wing. He says some flight operations at Scott will be curtailed, including those transporting senior government and military leaders.

But he says operations deemed essential such as training flights and flights of KC-135 air tankers won't be affected.

 
Published in Local News

Crews at Scott Air Force Base have a massive project ahead of them.

The workers are in charge of moving military equipment out of Afghanistan back to the US. Troops are withdrawing from the country at the end of next year.

In total, 750,000 pieces of equipment with a value of $36 billion will be brought back. About $7 billion worth of equipment will be left behind of destroyed.

Published in Local News

  MASCOUTAH, Ill. (AP) - Pilots at a southwestern Illinois Air Force base are decluttering cockpits, swapping pounds of paper maps and bulky flight manuals for iPads Minis.

   The Belleville News-Democrat reports the experiment involves C-21A planes at Scott Air Force Base.

   Typically, each plane has about 50 pounds of paper on board, including maps, navigational charts and flight manuals. The printouts must be replaced every two months because they're continually updated.

   That costs money: about $25,000 a year in printing costs alone, plus the additional fuel that's consumed because of the weight.

   Maj. Jared Detloff is one of the pilots testing the 11 ounce tablet, which he velcros to a control yolk in the cockpit. He says there's been a learning curve to using the tablet, but so far it has been well-received.

  

Published in Local News

   MASCOUTAH, Ill. (AP) - Air Force streamlining efforts mean nearly three dozen civilian jobs have been cut at Scott Air Force Base in St. Clair County.

   The Belleville News-Democrat reports the 33 jobs at Scott's Air Force Network Integration Center were eliminated when a contract with the workers' employer ended at the end of last month.

   But Col. Brenda Campbell, a spokeswoman for the Air Force Space Command at Colorado's Peterson Air Force Base, says the lost Illinois jobs will translate to nine new in-house positions at Peterson.

   Campbell says the Air Force will save money long-term through the consolidation.

 

Published in Local News

   MASCOUTAH, Ill. (AP) - The federal government won't make a decision for years on whether to close Scott Air Force Base, but leaders in southwest Illinois fear growing budget pressures in Washington could affect the facility's future.

   The Belleville News-Democrat reports that Illinois congressmen are working to keep the base open even though the next round of base closures won't take place until at least 2015.

   Republican U.S. Rep. John Shimkus tells the newspaper that the base's fate is at risk if Congress doesn't reform entitlement programs. Defense Department officials have said that the facility has more infrastructure than needed.

   Civilian workers at the base near Mascoutah are already scheduled to start taking 20 days of unpaid furloughs between May and September as a result of a series of automatic federal budget cuts.

 
Published in Local News
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