Military traffic command to reorganize, cut jobs

The Military Traffic Management Command (MTMC) has announced a plan to consolidate and reorganize its operations by Oct. 1. Nearly 10 percent of the command's 2,355 employees will lose their jobs in the process. MTMC, which is responsible for managing all military deployments, runs operations at 24 ports worldwide. The agency also handled $2.2 billion worth of relocations of military personnel and their property in fiscal 1999.

The plan will consolidate positions dealing with supply, finance and personnel at MTMC headquarters in Virginia and return as many as 28 enlisted lower-ranking officers to "warfighter" units from their current traffic management posts.

MTMC's commander, Maj. Gen. Kenneth L. Privratsky, indicated that exposure to the dynamic private transport market has caused the command's military customers to demand more from their government partners.

"We need to do this to keep pace with changes in the transportation industry and to leverage efficiencies provided by automation," said Privratsky. "This is reengineering that provides productivity and speed to our operations."

MTMC officials estimate the restructuring will displace four officers, 37 soldiers, 94 civilians and 64 foreign nationals from their jobs. Hardest hit will be the 834th Transpotation Batallion of Concord, Calif., where 37 civilian slots and one officer position are on the chopping block.

MTMC spokesman John Randt stressed the command's overhaul was not a cost-cutting effort dictated by the Pentagon, but a self-imposed effort at regimenting a force that had developed in haphazard fashion. He noted that where the volume of traffic dictates, MTMC will actually be beefing up certain posts.

The 839th Batallion in Livorno, Italy, which supports American armed forces in Bosnia, will see a net increase of nine employees. A unit in Bahrain, the 831st Batallion, will be the single largest beneficiary of the reorganization, with 12 new employees. With a current staff of just 19, compared to the 84 employees at the largest batallion, the unit had been the smallest in number but one of the MTMC's most active ports.

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