The good news is that 76 fewer positions than expected will be eliminated at Hill Air Force Base this year, Rep. Jim Hansen, R-Utah, said Thursday.

The bad news is that means about 1,351 positions are still being axed there because of defense budget cuts announced last November.Hansen, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, said "fine-tuning" allowed saving the additional 76 positions, and a press release he issued credited that to Hansen's working closely with Gen. Charles C. McDonald at the Air Force Logistics Command.

"I am gratified that the additional personnel will be kept at Hill through ongoing efforts to modify the reduction in force," Hansen said.

"Hill serves a vital and important function within the logistics command system, and will continue to do so far into the future. I will continue to work toward ever strengthening the base's mission and toward further reducing any pending personnel reductions," Hansen said.

In November, the Air Force announced it was eliminating 1,427 civilian jobs at Hill - about 1,000 more than announced previously - as part of a lay off of 7,500 employees throughout the Air Force's Logistics Command.

Only one base is to lose more, Tinker AFB, Okla., which will cut 2,196 employees.

Air Force officials have said they expect some of the reduction to be handled by retirements and by not re-hiring people who leave. Some lay offs had been expected in March.