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Red River Army Depot announced Monday that more than 300 government or contractor employees will laid off beginning Aug. 31.

This represents Phase 2 of a Department of Defense restructuring plan that was first announced in March.

Ninety-eight term government employees and 207 contractor employees will be released in this second phase, but no permanent government employees.

These reductions are due to workload decreases of approximately 1.3 million direct labor hours compared to the previous year, according to a RRAD press release.

The affected workers include employees supporting major production, inspection and support areas across the depot. These reductions are based on current workload projections and budget submissions.

"Though these are challenging times for our depot, our team remains committed to excellence," said Col. Jason A. Carrico, commander for Red River Army Depot. "With a reduction to our current workload, we are forced to make very difficult decisions that affect the lives of our employees and their families."

RRAD has established a Transition Support Center with assistance from Texas and Arkansas state governments to assist employees in the transition to other occupations and employers. The intent of the center is to educate and assist each employee in understanding their rights and benefits and to take full advantage of all available resources in the community.

According to depot officials, in the past 10 weeks, numerous employees have utilized the center with 115 individuals being offered other positions.

"For those individuals who will be affected, this is not a negative reflection of your performance or your dedicated service to this installation," said Col. Carrico. "Since August 1941 our depot has risen to the call selflessly serving our Nation."

Monday's layoff announcement comes on the heels of last week's suggestion of RRAD becoming home of a a new repair program for Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicles.

Sens. Tom Cotton and John Boozman R-Ark.; Ted Cruz and John Cornyn, R-Texas; and James Inhofe and James Lankford, R-Okla., lauded the local depot's trained workers, production lines and technical expertise as reasons for the AMPV program to be housed at Red River.

The senators sent a letter to Gen. Gustave F. Perna, commander of the Army Materiel Command touting RRAD's experienced workforce and distinguished track record.

" Red River has been the Bradley's DSOR (depot source of repair) since the 1980s and the Center of Industrial and Technical Excellence since 2002. These designations, coupled with the 75 percent commonality that AMPV shares with the Bradley, make Red River the most effective and efficient choice for the maintenance and sustainment of this new vehicle."

RRAD has extensive experience and knowledge with BAE Systems, the original equipment manufacturer for the AMPV program, according to the senators.

In March, Red River Army Depot announced its first round of layoffs for the calendar year, claiming 600 jobs because of decreasing workload requirements.

The layoffs, which began in May, affected the contractor, temporary and workforce categories.

When March's layoffs were announced, officials believed another round of layoffs were likely in the summer.

At that time, RRAD pledged a Transition Support Center.

RRAD was activated in 1941 and was on the 1995 and 2005 Base Realignment and Closure lists.

Red River Army Depot is located west of Texarkana, between Hooks and New Boston, Texas.

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