Vance Air Force Base in Enid to gain 95 jobs in base realignment

Saturday, August 27th 2005, 11:57 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Vance Air Force Base would gain 95 jobs under recommendations by the federal base closure commission while other military installations in Oklahoma could end up losing work.

The commission narrowly defeated a proposal by Commissioner Lloyd W. Newton to take pilot training work that would have gone to Vance under earlier proposals and send it to Cannon Air Force Base in New Mexico. Instead, the commission approved moving the work to Vance.

``That worked out great for us,'' Mike Cooper, who headed Gov. Brad Henry's advisory team on base closure issues, told The Oklahoman's Washington bureau.

The decision still isn't final. The commission must send its final report to President Bush by Sept. 8, and the president can approve the proposals or send them back for revisions. Congress must also accept the changes.

Fort Sill is expected to gain about 3,600 jobs through the recommendations. The post will be adding air defense artillery training and some related active units from an El Paso, Texas, post while losing some well-paying finance jobs and a correctional facility.

Other Oklahoma military installations didn't fare as well.

Tinker Air Force Base will gain some new work, but end up losing jobs because of positions being relocated from a number of business operations. Defense Department proposals called for Tinker to gain about 350 jobs, but the base closure commission rejected a recommendation that would have sent more than 400 jobs to Tinker from the Red River Army Depot in Texarkana, Texas.

Altus Air Force Base will lose more than a dozen jobs connected to a supply squadron.

The McAlester Army Ammunition Plant is expected to gain work from plants and depots that are being shut down, but the Pentagon's proposals did not show any specific job gains for McAlester.