Budget forces cuts to hundreds of Tenn. Air National Guard jobs - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Budget forces cuts to hundreds of Tenn. Air National Guard jobs

(WMC-TV) - The Air National Guard in Memphis, Nashville, and Knoxville will soon lose hundreds of jobs due to budget constraints in Tennessee.

"The Air Guard participated in this Air Force process," said National Guard Bureau spokesperson Rose Richeson.  "It's really an effort to make sure that we meet the budget requirements."

Richeson said the guard in Memphis would lose 86 jobs.

"Four hundred positions are going to be lost with the C-5 mission, but because Memphis is gaining a C-17 unit, there's not going to be a significant impact for that area," said Richeson.  "That's why you only see a net loss of 86."

The cuts are all part of an overall restructuring plan that the Air Force announced last month.

Some opponents have criticized the Air Force's decision.  Richeson said it was a tough decision, but one that had to be made.

"It's very difficult anytime you make a cut, but when the Department of Defense tells you there is a certain requirement that you have to meet, at the end of the day, we're part of that military organization and we're going to execute the program or budget that is given to us," said Richeson.

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam and several other governors sent letters to the Defense Secretary last week opposing what they called "disproportionate cuts" facing the Air National Guard.

The cuts are reportedly set to be in place by this September.

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