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Military traffic command to consolidate headquarters operations

The Military Traffic Management Command announced plans Monday to consolidate its two headquarters offices into one, cutting about 250 jobs in the process. John Randt, an MTMC spokesman, said operating two separate headquarters that perform the same duties and are located only a few hours apart from each other in Virginia is inefficient and not cost-effective. "For the last three years, we have had two nearly identical headquarters [in Alexandria, Va. and Fort Eustis, Va.] performing parallel missions, which confused customers and workers," said Randt. MTMC, which is responsible for managing all military deployments, runs operations at 24 ports around the world. The headquarters operations staff, which is currently split between Alexandria and Fort Eustis, will relocate to Fort Eustis. The idea behind the reorganization is to eliminate duplicate staff functions at the two offices. Randt said the restructuring would cut about 250 civilian and military personnel positions within the organization's total worldwide staff of 2,346. Employees affected by the reorganization will be eligible to receive training to qualify for other jobs within MTMC. Randt said no employee would be adversely affected by the downsizing before June 30, 2003. Although the reorganization will affect employees in both locations, the Alexandria office will feel the greater impact, said Randt. Randt called the reorganization "an historic change" for the Military Traffic Management Command. "It's change with a capital 'C,'" he said. "Many people will be called upon to rise up and either relocate, retire or be retrained." The Army officially approved MTMC's reorganization last month, Randt said. The advance of automated systems has made it easier for organizations to do business, and MTMC, given its global presence, is eager to take advantage of the efficiency technology offers, he said. The latest reorganization comes nearly a year after MTMC announced a similar streamlining last summer. In that effort, MTMC consolidated supply, finance, and personnel positions at the headquarters in Alexandria, trimming about 200 jobs. Randt said in the latest reorganization, some employees could opt to retire, while others will undergo retraining for other positions within the organization. An early-out program would impact only about 29 people, he said. Randt could not predict how many employees would actually be laid off, but indicated that the number would probably be close to the number of employees who will be laid off due to last year's reorganization. There are less than 10 employees who are still in jobs eliminated by last summer's streamlining, and those employees will lose their jobs at the end of September, Randt said. According to Randt, the news of another reorganization is not a surprise to employees. "This issue had been addressed in employee meetings with Maj. Gen. [Kenneth] Privratsky, and there is a general awareness that this is going on," he said. Privratsky is commander of MTMC. In fact, many of the ideas to streamline MTMC's operations to become a more efficient organization have come from employees, according to Randt.