Boeing will reduce its workforce at Southern California’s Space and Intelligence Systems (S&IS) unit by approximately 5 percent this year, cutting 250 to 300 senior non-management positions, employees learned Monday.

In an e-mail to staff, Boeing vice president and S&IS general manager Craig Cooning said the company has created an “early exit incentive program” and that attrition should reduce the number of layoffs required.

“However we must be prepared to adjust our staffing levels in order to remain competitive,” the e-mail said.

The cuts will come among experienced — and hence more highly paid — employees at Boeing’s El Segundo, Seal Beach, Huntington Beach and Torrance sites.

Cooning’s memo said “2012 was a very successful year for S&IS” and that the year’s acheivements would not have been possible “without the work of this very capable and committed S&IS workforce.”

Dominic Gates: (206) 464-2963 or dgates@seattletimes.com