More than 300 to lose jobs due to Westover cuts - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, Florida-

More than 300 to lose jobs due to Westover cuts

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CHICOPEE, MA (WSHM) -

Due to Department of Defense budget cuts, Westover Air Force Base will lose half of its 439th Airlift Wing C-5 fleet, which includes more than 300 jobs.

There are 16 C-5B models in the 439th AW unit, and eight of them will be transferred to Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas in 2015.

Among the personnel losses are 59 full-time enlisted and 275 drilling reservists, but the final number has not yet been finalized.

No timetable has been released on when these cuts will go into effect.

Due to President Barack Obama's new defense strategy, the Defense Department's budget is being reduced by $487 billion over the next eight years.

"These changes affect the core of our mission here – our dedicated men and women. These reductions will incur hardships on our people," said Brig. Gen. Steven Vautrain, 439th AW commander. "We will take care of our people; we will place as a many as possible in other positions within the wing and programs will be available to assist those displaced by this change in force structure.  We will continue to fulfill our global mobility mission before, during and after these changes."

The remaining eight C-5 models at Westover will be upgraded to C-5M models, which the base will retain.

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