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.
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.
BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) - A spokesman for the Illinois National Guard and Air National Guard says more than 1,300 of its civilian employees will be taking unpaid furloughs as part of the automatic federal spending cuts that kicked in last month.
Capt. Dutch Grove tells the Belleville News-Democrat workers will be taking 14 days of furloughs through the end of this fiscal year. Those workers include 230 at Scott Air Force Base in southwestern Illinois.
He says those furloughs are set to start in mid-June, but that details on how that will play out remains unclear.
The Scott base employs almost 5,600 civilian workers. It is located near Mascoutah. Base officials say those exempted from the furloughs include firefighters and others who hold jobs are considered essential for base safety and security.
The furloughs mean affected employees will work only four days each week for 22 weeks, and they'll lose the pay for those 22 days off.
Only civilian employees in jobs essential for base safety and security, like firefighters, will be spared.
The paper reports that budget analyst estimate the furloughs will cost the region at least $28 million in reduced spending. About 5,600 civilians work at Scott Air Force Base.