Fort Knox seeks to cut positions without job loss

ELIZABETHTOWN — Fort Knox officials are reducing the post's civilian work force in a manner that they hope will remove redundancies without significant job losses.

The directive to reduce staffing is part of a planned reduction of about 8,700 civilian positions throughout the Army by Sept. 30 that, at Fort Knox, primarily is expected to affect Army Accessions Command and Garrison Command.

Garrison Command has been directed to trim its 715 civilian positions to 582, which would result in the elimination of more than 130 positions, according to the Fort Knox Public Affairs Office.

The reduction follows the shutdown of Accessions Command earlier this year as part of Department of Defense and Army efficiency reviews. That eliminates 130 civilian positions, according to Fort Knox.

Fort Knox public affairs officer Kyle Hodges said the post is unsure how the reductions will be made, but officials are searching for ways to remove positions without workers losing jobs.

"We're not getting rid of jobs at this point," he said. "We're getting rid of positions."

Hodges said Fort Knox is trying to reshape its work force structure through other measures, including voluntary early retirement, attrition and hiring freezes. The post also is looking into halting extensions for temporary or term employees past their tour or after September.

The reductions across the Army is part of Department of Defense decisions indicated in President Barack Obama's 2012 budget, which requires a reduction in civilian positions to meet decreased staffing levels.

"With the tools afforded, several dozen Accessions Command employees have received employment with other Army organizations, mostly on Fort Knox. Meanwhile, others have taken advantage of the early-retirement incentives," said Charlie Wilson, Army Accessions Command chief of staff. "However, our work is not done. We will continue to assist our remaining staff in any way we can in finding other federal employment options."

Fort Knox's population grew by about 5,000 as part of the Base Realignment and Closure initiative that started in 2005 and ended in September, but Fort Knox officials said the move of basic training duties to Fort Benning, Ga., has diminished the demands on Garrison Command to feed, train and transport soldiers at the post.