HOOKS, Texas (AP) — A military depot in northeast Texas plans to lay off nearly 370 workers amid the downsizing of U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The Red River Army Depot on Wednesday announced plans for layoffs in February due to completion of work such as military vehicle and rocket system repairs. The depot said changes in troop strength and budget requirements translate to workload reductions and personnel adjustments.
The layoffs will affect as many as 184 contract workers and up to 183 temporary workers, according to a statement issued by the depot. They include workers who support administrative, production, inspection and maintenance efforts at the depot. Another reduction is expected to come in march, according to the statement.
The Army says it expects to begin the reductions next month.
More than 4,000 people work at the Red River Army Depot, making it the largest employer in Bowie County. The complex is located near Hooks, about 15 miles from the Texas border with Arkansas. The depot had increased its workforce in 2004 in response to the troop surge in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"As the U.S. continues to reduce its combat military presence abroad, the workload required to support military contingency operations is reduced as well," depot spokeswoman Adrienne Brown told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
The depot repairs and rebuilds combat vehicles damaged in the field. Officials have established a transition support center, with assistance from Texas and Arkansas, to help laid-off employees.