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Drum layoffs may be unavoidable

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WASHINGTON — As many as 85 civilian workers at Fort Drum may lose their jobs as the Army works to meet personnel reductions ordered by the Obama administration.

The post’s public affairs office said Friday that voluntary departures and attrition have helped Drum come close to the goals prescribed by the Army but that the post’s total of 1,080 civilian workers is 85 greater than the endstrength authorized in this year’s federal budget, when vacant positions are considered.

“We know this is where the really hard work begins,” said Michael McKinnon, deputy to the garrison commander at Fort Drum, in a news release.

A spokeswoman at Fort Drum, Julie A. Cupernall, said Fort Drum is “on a good glidepath” to meet the requirement by the end of next September, which is when fiscal 2012 ends. The post has been spared involuntary layoffs to a greater extent than some other installations by cutting through attrition and voluntary separation incentives, she said.

The post is actually on target for its goal of 1,076 permanent civilian positions, but the picture is complicated by jobs that are currently vacant, Ms. Cupernall said.

Post commanders said in September they would cut about 100 positions this fiscal year and any layoff would be in small numbers.

Mr. McKinnon said some of the reductions may be achieved by moving workers into currently vacant authorized slots, and officials continue to look for redundant services that could yield savings.

The Army announced in July it intended to cut 8,700 civilian jobs by the end of next September. Army officials announced Thursday they continue to move toward that goal.

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