WPAFB, Ohio (WDTN) – New budget cuts for the Department of Defense could mean the loss of hundreds of jobs at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.
Nearly 400 people are in jeopardy of losing their jobs, but Wright-Patt officials are hoping that reorganization and different programs will spare a major loss.
Friday, Congressman Mike Turner (R- 10th District) echoed that feeling; he told 2 NEWS’ Beairshelle Edmé that he plans to hold the Air Force accountable for keeping these men and women at work.
“I have received assurances from the secretary of the Air Force that the individuals who are in these positions will be able to get other open positions at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and we’re going to hold them accountable for that and make certain that their careers at the base is not interrupted by their positions being impacted,” said Turner.
Newly-minted Wing Commander Col.John Devillier is also working to maintain the base’s mission.
But Thursday, following his ceremony, even he admitted when it comes to the budget, there’s work to be done.
“The Department of Defense, the Air Force is under great strain due to the Budget Control Act. I think that’s going to be the number one challenge we face,” said Devillier.
And while the representative has word that jobs won’t be lost, 2 NEWS asked what Turner’s doing currently to make sure of that those words come to fruition.
“Well, what we did on the budget in the national defense authorization act provisions that we’ve put in the bill that’s passed the House, is now over at the Senate, would assist us and start trying to restore some of the funding that’s affecting the job loss,” Turner said. “Another area obviously is looking to ways in which we can impact the Air Force if they don’t hold to their word that they’re managing this effectively and finding these people jobs.”
In total, officials say the plan to eliminate these jobs will save more than $1.5 billion over the next five years.
Turner says whatever the outcome he’s sure the base will remain a key player in the community.