TAMPA, Fla. (TBO.com) - As many as 1,000 employees of local defense contractors are facing layoffs or pay cuts as the war in Afghanistan winds down.

“There will be significant cuts,” said Greg Celestan, chairman and chief executive officer of Celestar Corp., one of several companies that will be affected by a reduction in spending that will come with the end of the war in Afghanistan. “A number of companies are having meetings with existing employees, telling them not to take out any serious financial commitments in the near future.”

Hundreds of employees, “even up to 1,000,” will face layoffs or pay cuts of as much as 20 to 30 percent, said Celestan.

Overall, the number of Department of Defense contractor personnel in the U.S. Central Command region dropped by about 26 percent from October to last month, according to a Centcom report. The region consists of 20 countries including Afghanistan, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Syria and Yemen.

On Wednesday, Leidos, a Reston, VA-based company which provides professional, scientific and technical support services to Centcom’s JointIntelligenceOperationsCenter at MacDill Air Force Base, issued a Warn Notice with the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity saying it may lay off 93 workers in June.

Leidos submitted a proposal for a follow-on contract for Centcom, said spokeswoman Jennifer Gephart, and the layoffs will take place if the company does not win its bid.

“We expect an award announcement by early June, with an anticipated contract start date of July 1,” she said. “If Leidos is unsuccessful at winning the bid, the date of the permanent layoff is expected to commence on June 30.”

Photo Credit Getty Images

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