The Kansas Adjutant General’s Department was recently notified of a significant reduction in federal funding that supports the Kansas National Guard’s Readiness Sustainment Maintenance Sites in Salina and Fort Riley. The RSMS program rebuilds and refurbishes military equipment for the Department of Defense. The current 2013 RSMS annual budget of $22 million is being cut by approximately $15 million.
The large federal funding cuts to the RSMS program require significant changes to the program and as result the current full-time RSMS workforce of 182 positions will be reduced to a total of approximately 70 to 85 positions in January. These jobs are unclassified, temporary, full-time state of Kansas positions with benefits which have been fully funded by Department of Defense. All of the positions are held by civilian employees and include jobs such as mechanics, welders, and various other skills necessary to work on military equipment.
“Unfortunately, these federal funding reductions will result in the elimination of approximately 97 to 112 state positions between October and January 2014,” said Maj. Gen. Lee Tafanelli, Kansas adjutant general. “With this reduction in staff, we will also be required to close the Salina RSMS location in January.”
RSMS employees will be provided state resources to assist them. Some individuals will be offered the option to transfer to Fort Riley.
“Our staff will be working closely with the individuals affected to ensure they have access to the help they need to seek out new employment or to seek out benefits to assist them,” said Tafanelli.
“This is an extremely difficult time for our staff and for the Salina and Fort Riley communities where the RSMS sites have resided for a number of years.”
With this funding cut, Department of Defense modified the goals of the RSMS program reducing the production requirements for 2013-2014 to ensure the remaining staff members can carry out the required workload.
The Fort Riley site opened in 1993 and the Salina site opened in 2006.