Red River Army Depot reducing its work force by up to 600

Red River Army Depot to lay off up to 600 workers

BOWIE COUNTY, TX (KSLA) - Less work means fewer workers are needed.

Red River Army Depot says that's the reason for a nearly 13 percent reduction in force announced Thursday.

The maintenance and repair facility 18 miles west of Texarkana, Texas, notified employees that it will reduce its work force by up to 400 contractor workers and up to 200 temporary and term government employees starting in May.

"A reduction in Army workload requirements forces us to make difficult business decisions," Col. Jason A. Carrico, the installation's commander, says in a statement announcing the reductions. "It affects the lives of our employees and their families."

Potentially affected are employees supporting major production, inspection and support areas throughout the operation.

And officials say there could be further reductions in August.

Meantime, a center will be set up by the depot, Texas and Arkansas to educate and help idled employees understand their rights and benefits and to help them take advantage of resources in the community.

"For those individuals who will be affected, this is not a negative reflection of your performance or your dedicated service to this installation," Carrico says. "However, we must consider these actions to properly match our workforce to workload requirements."

The 4,700 or so workers at Red River Army Depot remanufacture tactical wheeled vehicles, including thousands of Bradley Fighting Vehicle systems. They also produce M1 road wheels and rebuild Improved Ribbon Bridges and Bridge Erection Boats, among other tasks.

The installation's current workload plus what it expects in fiscal year 2018 amount to about 1.3 million direct labor hours less than that worked in fiscal year 2017.

"The bottom line is that RRAD's workload is directly related to DoD (Defense Department) requirements to support our soldiers," says the statement from the installation.

It was just more than three months ago that Red River Army Depot and a global defense, security and aerospace company announced the renewal of their partnership.

In November, the depot's relationship with BAE Systems was among 23 partnering agreements that Red River Army Depot was involved in with various private industry partners.

A year ago, more than 700 layoffs were expected in response to a federal hiring freeze ordered by President Donald Trump's administration.

The installation requested and was granted an exception from the hiring freeze, thus extending appointments that had been set to expire that March.

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