Clearfield Mayor Neldon Hamblin is among nearly 450 base employees agreeing to retire so other workers can keep their jobs.

With 39 years and nine months of federal employment, Hamblin, 58, qualified easily to retire as head of the materials-processing division of the Ogden Air Logistics Center.Other base workers needed 30 years of job credit and to be at least 55 years old to be eligible. But the Defense Department also encouraged others to leave their jobs by letting them retire early, with some loss of benefits.

"I'm kind of overwhelmed by closing out one career," said Hamblin, who was driving his grandchildren to school Tuesday instead of heading for the base.

The three-term mayor also served eight years on the City Council.

His wife, Bonnie, said, "I'm glad he's decided to retire because I've got a list as long as your arm of `Honey, do's.' The mayor's job has been part time, but this may give him time to work at it full-time. "

Logistics center officials were told this fall they would have to eliminate 1,427 of the base's approximately 14,000 civilian jobs before next spring. If every person who retires is not replaced, that means one less worker losing his job due to the required 7,400-person nationwide reduction through out the Air Force Logistics Command system.

The base will be sending out reduction-in-force notices in February, but it hopes to limit the number through early retirement programs and by eliminating some vacant jobs.

"Hill has had a hiring freeze since January and we know there are some unfilled positions out there," Val Buxton, base personnel spokesman, has said.

Base spokeswoman Sylvia Le Mons-Liddle said that as of the Nov. 30 deadline for one retirement program, 149 employees eligible to retire agreed to leave their jobs.

Two-hundred and ninety four other workers took early retirement through a program allowing them to withdraw half the money in their pension-retirement fund now and the other half in one year. The 149 regular retirees can either take the lump-sum payouts or monthly retirement checks.

In 1987, Hill also offered its workers an early retirement option, and 468 employees took the offer.

Workers qualifying for the early retirement program have until Feb. 1 to fill out their paperwork. Once all the cuts are made, the retirees and number of vacant jobs left unfilled will be subtracted from the 1,427. Then officials will know how many jobs still need to be cut.