ARLINGTON, Va. — The Air Force will announce manpower cuts to some or all of its nine major commands in January, service officials said Tuesday.

Air Force personnel officials were scheduled to meet with Chief of Staff Gen. John Jumper on Tuesday to present their conclusions on how many jobs should be cut, and in which of the major commands, according to Air Force spokeswoman Jennifer Stephens.

Jumper will review the findings, and “at some point in January, we’ll make an announcement” concerning the reductions, Stephens said Tuesday.

First Lt. Richard Komurek, a U.S. Air Forces in Europe public affairs officer, said USAFE officials are studying the directive and planning how to implement Europe’s share of the reductions.

“Right now, we’re not able to say what they will be exactly,” he said. He said he wasn’t able to discuss specific numbers .

The major commands are Air Force Materiel Command, Air Combat Command, Air Education and Training Command, Space Command, Special Operations Command, Air Mobility Command, Pacific Air Forces, U.S. Air Forces Europe, and Reserve Command.

In a prepared statement Stephens supplied to Stripes, Air Force officials said the cuts will eliminate positions that should have been gone years ago — jobs that exist on paper, but are not actually manned.

Congress, not Pentagon officials, decides how many civilian and military personnel each service is allowed to retain — a number referred to as “end-strength allocations.” If a service exceeds its allocations in any given year, there is no money in its personnel budget to pay those extra people.

But not all of the jobs slated for elimination aren’t just entries on organizational charts — some are filled by real Air Force workers, who were granted a temporary reprieve due to the Sept. 11 attacks.

“As we entered the era of the global war on terrorism, these past budget decisions were put on ‘hold’ at the Headquarters Air Force level as events unfolded,” the statement said.

Asked how many personnel will be unemployed when the restructuring is announced, Stephens replied, “I’m not sure at this point.”

Nor could Stephens say just how much the Air Force has exceeded its authorized fiscal 2003 end-strength of 359,00 active-duty airmen and 158,783 civilians.

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