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Ellsworth Offering 1,000 Airmen Early Retirement; Lay-offs May Follow

Wait wait wait! Joe Lowe and I were wrong, and Dennis Daugaard was right: we can't rely on the federal government to keep funding the programs that South Dakota relies upon for its economic livelihood.

As IP notes and RCJ reports, the United States Air Force is looking to cut its roster by 5%. That cut includes a willingness to shed a quarter of its workforce at Ellsworth Air Force Base:

Col. Kevin Kennedy, commander of the 28th Bomb Wing, said that a little more than 1,000 airmen, including officers, have been given the opportunity to accept a cash payment and voluntarily separate from the wing.

...If not enough airmen do so, Ellsworth and other bases may need to terminate airmen involuntarily.

However, Kennedy stressed that the 28th Bomb Wing wasn't going to lose 1,000 airmen. If terminations are needed, he said, the total number would depend on how many chose to voluntarily separate across the Air Force and which career fields those departing airmen belonged to.

Ellsworth currently has 3,350 active duty personnel and 572 civilian employees [Daniel Simmons-Ritchie, "Ellsworth to Shed Jobs in Air Force Restructuring," Rapid City Journal, 2014.04.05].

The Air Force is downsizing and cutting other programs thanks to sequestration, brought to you by Rep. Kristi Noem, Senator John Thune, Senator Tim Johnson, and your Congress. Consider that at the polls this year.


  1. larry kurtz 2014.04.07

    Minot, Malmstrom and Warren AFBs can handle the US Northern Command. Ellsworth needs to look for a civilian mission.

  2. rollin potter 2014.04.07

    no problem people!!!!!! Our power house rising stars(noem and thune) will get this straightened out!!!!! HA!HA!

  3. jerry 2014.04.07

    So when will NOem and the Thune bird come out with how good of a job they have done with the sequestration? One does not have to go to far into the memory bank to remember them both bleating about how this needed to be done. Well now, lets see them own it! Twidle dee and twidle dumb at your service.

  4. moses 2014.04.07

    Thune is like a show boat nextphoto op please.

  5. Rorschach 2014.04.07

    No. You've got Rep. Noem and Sen. Thune all wrong. They don't want to cut ANY federal spending in SD. They just want to cut it in the 49 other states. Any federal spending cut in SD is President Obama's fault, and it's BAAADD!! Very Bad!!! The cuts in federal spending in the other 49 states are the excellent work of Rep. Noem and Sen. Thune, and President Obama fought them all the way. But any cuts to military spending anywhere is BAAADD!! Very Bad!!! Got it?

  6. Roger Cornelius 2014.04.07

    Let's watch all those fiscal conservatives come out of the woodwork to defend Ellsworth's reckless spending.

  7. Jeff Barth 2014.04.08

    You can't demand increased spending cut taxes and balance the budget.
    It may be easier to fix a fiscal deficit than a mental deficit.

  8. jerry 2014.04.08 are correct as usual on these matters Rorschach. That was goofy on my part to even think that these two knuckleheads would have or could have even considered the repercussions to South Dakota with their actions.

  9. Loren 2014.04.08

    I'm not arguing pro or con for any specific program, but it seems Thune and Noem's fiscal conservatism is a wonderful idea as long as it doesn't effect Ellsworth, the Hot Springs V.A., farm subsidies, ethanol production, Missouri River water,... Gov. Dudley Doogood is right. We will take all the money we can from those projects, but screw affordable health care. After all, you can 't trust the federal gov't, right??

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