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Skelton announces 60 security guard jobs saved at Whiteman Air Force Base
Skelton announces 60 security guard jobs saved at Whiteman Air Force Base

Congressman Ike Skelton
WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 22, 2010) — This week, Congressman Ike Skelton (D-Mo.) took steps to save as many as 60 jobs at Whiteman Air Force Base by pushing the Department of Defense (DOD) to continue using civilian security personnel.

“When large numbers of Air Force military police deployed overseas, civilians filled the gap to protect the security of military installations, including Whiteman Air Force Base. By all accounts, these civilians have done good work and I believe they should have the chance to keep these jobs.

“I have discussed this issue with senior Air Force leaders, and to reinforce the point, there is language included in the defense authorization bill. Civilians filled these security positions in the first place because our military personnel were called away to meet other critical national security obligations. Nothing in law requires DOD to use military personnel in security positions, and there is no reason why these positions should not be filled by civilian employees,” said Skelton.

The high tempo of military operations and frequent deployments have led to military police personnel shortages in some locations. To meet security needs, the Air Force hired private security contractors to provide security on Air Force installations but recently began considering plans to eliminate those positions.

Skelton’s defense bill report language highlights that nothing in law requires DOD to use military personnel in security positions. The Skelton language also directs DOD to review its guidance with regard to the conversion of private sector security guard positions and include prioritization of the use of civilian employees to fill those positions.

The Skelton language was approved by the House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday as part of the bill H.R. 5136, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2011.

Congressman Ike Skelton (D-Mo.) serves as chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. Congressman Skelton’s website is at www.house.gov/skelton.

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