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Air Force: Budget Cuts Could Cost Nevada 1,500 Jobs | News

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Air Force: Budget Cuts Could Cost Nevada 1,500 Jobs
Air Force: Budget Cuts Could Cost Nevada 1,500 Jobs

LAS VEGAS -- With Congress facing a March 1 deadline to delay otherwise automatic deep cuts in defense spending, there is a chance that Nevada's military facilities will share the pain.

An unclassified U.S. Air Force document dated Feb. 11 estimated that the automatic federal cuts known as sequestration could cost 1,500 civilian jobs in Nevada, along with $11.4 million in lost pay and a $2 million loss in the value of planned military facility modernization and restoration projects.

The Air Force oversees Nellis Air Force Base in the northeast valley, Creech Air Force Base in Indian Springs, and the Nevada Test & Training Range. An economic analysis of those facilities for fiscal 2011, the latest available, indicated that they had a combined impact of nearly $5.1 billion that year.

That included $3 billion in base expenditures, more than $1.1 billion in base payroll and nearly $650 million in retiree payroll.

The facilities were responsible for supporting 9,748 active duty military positions, 1,061 reserves, 4,279 civilians and 26,005 dependents. Among the military personnel and dependents, 6,105 lived on base and 30,709 resided elsewhere.

The report also estimated that Nellis, Creech and the test range created 6,521 indirect jobs with a combined $265.7 million in salaries.

Nellis and the other facilities played major roles in support of the U.S. war in Iraq and continue to do so for the war in Afghanistan. Nellis is home to the Air Force Warfare Center, 57th Wing, 99th Air Base Wing, and elements of the 53rd Wing and 505th Command & Control Wing.