The U.S. Air Force will increase the number of civilian jobs at Patrick Air Force Base and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station by almost 400, the office of U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson said today.
The increase comes at a time when the service is cutting 9,000 civilian jobs at bases across the country. The cost-savings measure is a service-wide effort to adjust to a new era of defense spending cuts.
Almost 100 civilian jobs are being cut at Vandenberg Air Force Base in central California, the military's main West Coast space launch site, according to a report in the Lompoc Record.
Dan McLaughlin, a spokesman for Nelson's office, said the senator was briefed by the Air Force this week. The jobs will be added between now and next Sept. 30, the end of the current fiscal year.
Slides from the Air Force briefing show 224 civilian positions will be added at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, a 47 percent increase over the 477 civilian billets there now. A total of 156 civilian jobs will be added to the 1,600 now at Patrick Air Force Base, a 10 percent jump.
The number of civilian jobs at Air Force bases across Florida will increase by 493, or about four percent more than the current 13,034 civilian jobs. The 380 additional jobs on the Space Coast represents more than 75 percent of the total increase.
It was unclear exactly what types of civilian jobs will be added. Air Force officials at Patrick, which is the headquarters for the Air Force 45th Space Wing, were not immediately available for comment. Cape Canaveral Air Force Station is the military's primary East Coast space launch site.
The 45th Space Wing oversees operations at the two bases as well as the Eastern Range. The range is a network of ground stations that provides tracking and flight safety services for all launches from Cape Canaveral and adjacent Kennedy Space Center.