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MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan — Base leaders learned something interesting from a 2004 Marine Corps report on who does what at its installations: Not a lot of servicemembers at Iwakuni held jobs directly related to defense and war-fighting.

The statistics showed only 33 percent of the base’s Marines and sailors were in hands-on military readiness and operational slots, according to Bob Christian, Iwakuni’s manpower management analyst.

“The Marine Corps commandant said these numbers must reverse, with more like 66 percent in the field instead of the opposite,” he said Wednesday.

“Taxpayers believe they are paying for a military primarily focused on war-fighting,” he said, so by replacing servicemembers in some administrative and human-services jobs with locally hired civilians, “we move Marines and sailors here out into the field.”

Iwakuni already designated 16 Marines and 19 sailors in mostly administrative jobs to move into “mission-oriented jobs,” Christian said. The vacated jobs will be filled by civilians.

Additionally, four sailors who refuel aircraft and vehicles and one construction site inspector will be moved into different jobs and replaced by local civilian hires by the end of the year. One senior enlisted leader at the base cryogenic facility also is being replaced by a civilian, Christian said.

“This is simply going to make us more effective as military forces,” he said.

Christian said spouses and dependents qualified for these jobs have an opportunity that is becoming rare because of pending base closings in the United States.

“Those federal jobs in America are going to become very difficult to get, and very competitive,” he said. “So now, right here, there is this great opportunity to get into the system, work two or three years and then, when back in the United States, you receive priority placement in an atmosphere that will be very difficult.”

Most of the jobs being filled in Iwakuni fall between the General Service pay rates of GS-4 and GS-5.

Call Christian at DSN 253-3496 for more information about available positions.

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