MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — The West Virginia Air National Guard, after announcing plans last year to cut 217 positions at the 167th Airlift Wing in fiscal year 2015, now is uncertain about how many will be eliminated.
“That number is constantly changing and it’s so fluid that, at this point, we’re not sure how many that final number will be,” said Second Lt. Stacy Gault, the wing’s public affairs officer.
The reason for the job cuts is the Guard’s switchover from C-5 aircraft to C-17. Though the planes are both used for cargo and transport, the C-17 needs fewer crew members.
Retirements and members leaving for other careers could reduce the number of personnel who will be forced out. However, Gault said the Guard is preparing those who could lose their positions by staging employment workshops and a job fair that has 30 employers lined up for this month.
“Right now, as we go through this process, with the uncertainty, we’re trying to help people find new opportunities that are a sure thing,” she said. “The Air National Guard is a family. We want to make sure we take every step possible to care for our family members.”
Gault stressed they want to help those airmen find new employment before their time runs out with the Guard.
“We’ve had some employment workshops, within the last few months, and then this month we have a job fair, on base, that we’re hosting,” according to Gault.
Good jobs are hard to find but Gault said the Guard is determined to make sure their members find a job to support themselves and their families.
“The Air National Guard is a family. We want to make sure we take every step possible to care for our family members.”
Gault said they have 30 employers lined up, for this month’s job fair.