Iowa stands to lose hundreds of military jobs under a plan unveiled today by U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. If a federal base closure commission and Congress endorse the plan, about 12-hundred workers at the Rock Island Arsenal in the Quad Cities would lose their jobs. Over two-hundred military jobs at the Armed Forces Reserve Center at Camp Dodge just north of Des Moines would be cut and three centers around the state which serve Navy and Marine Reservists would be closed. Thirty-three military personnel work in the Navy Reserve Centers in Cedar Rapids and Sioux City as well as the Navy-Marine Reserve Center in Dubuque that are targeted for closure. Lieutenant Commander Jean Bach has been working in the Navy Reserve Center in Sioux City for about a year.
“The Navy Reserve Center administratively and medically makes sure that all our reservists are prepared and ready to deploy,” Bach says.
Bach is one of seven staff people working in that Sioux City office, serving 54 people who’re in the Navy Reserve. Today’s proposal does include a recommendation for more personnel at the Air Guard stations in Des Moines and Sioux City. The plan calls for hiring one-hundred-70 civilians and reassigning 33 military personnel to the Sioux City Air Guard facility. At the Air Guard installation at the Des Moines airport, the plan calls for another 23 military jobs at the facility as well as hiring 24 more civilians.
Officials at Offutt Air Force Base near Omaha plan an afternoon news conference to discuss changes proposed for that base. In total, Pentagon officials propose shutting 150 military installations, saving nearly 50 billion dollars over 20 years according to the military’s estimate.
News release from American Forces Press Service (includes closings and realignments)