More than 250 positions will be cut at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colorado, the U.S. Air Force announced on Monday.
The 275 job cuts are part of changes to Air Force staff and organization that officials say will result in savings of $1.6 billion in the next five years. The Air Force says a total of 3,459 positions will be cut both in country and at overseas locations. Last summer, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel directed the Air Force to reduce headquarters staffing across the country by 20 percent.
"The Air Force is doing the best they can given these difficult circumstances," said Republican U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn, who represents Colorado Springs. "Our nation's defense should be our top funding priority but unfortunately President Obama continues to cut our defense budget instead of strengthening our national defense. We should be increasing the Air Force budget, not cutting it."
The Air Force will offer early retirement programs and other incentives to reduce staff before "involuntary measures" are pursued. Lamborn's office said it would work with the Air Force to ensure anyone affected by the cuts would have "all possible transition help and assistance."