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Shaw Air Force Base Prepares for Possible Cuts

9:19 PM, Jan 17, 2014   |    comments
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Sumter, SC (WLTX)-  The Air Force is facing across-the-board cuts, a force reduction that Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh said could cut 25,000 airmen. 

The Reduction in Force (RIF) and force shaping boards are two of 18 force management programs the Air Force is rolling out throughout 2014 to help it deal with the potential problem.

Officials said this will be the smallest Air Force we have ever seen once the reductions are made.

Shaw Air Force Base held town hall meetings for airmen so they could listen and ask questions about the cuts. 

"We want to make sure they can make a smart decision with as much information as possible that will benefit themselves and their families," Arcuri said. 

Both enlisted airmen and officers could be asked to leave as early as this summer. Airmen also have the option of taking voluntary separation pay. 

Col. Scott A. Arcuri, commander of the 20th Mission Support Group, said they don't know how many will be let go at Shaw. 

"They are not targeting specific bases," Arcuri said. 

Although some are exempt from voluntary or involuntary separation pay.

"Fighter pilots in general are experiencing a shortage across the Air Force," Col. Arcuri said. "Right now, fighter pilots specifically are not eligible for any voluntary or involuntary programs."

The branch is making significant structural changes.

"We acknowledge there's going to be a lot of high quality folks that we are going to ask to separate," Arcuri said. 

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