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News > AFGSC prepares for civilian furloughs
AFGSC prepares for civilian furloughs

Posted 2/22/2013   Updated 2/22/2013 Email story   Print story


by Air Force Global Strike Command Public Affairs

2/22/2013 - BARKSDALE AFB, La. -- Approximately 2,900 civilians across Air Force Global Strike Command will be affected by furloughs if they are implemented as part of sequestration measures set to go into effect March 1.

Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta notified Congress Feb. 20 that the Defense Department is prepared to implement these furloughs for civilian personnel in response to the threat of sequestration.

Sequestration cuts require all military services and defense agencies to furlough most DoD civilian employees for an average of one day per week for up to 22 weeks beginning Apr. 25, officials said. This equates to a 20 percent cut in pay.

Panetta and DOD leaders long have expressed deep concern about the direct impact sequestration will have on military personnel, civilian employees and families. Flexibility in sequestration is limited, the secretary said in his memo, noting that while military personnel are exempt from direct impact, services on bases will deteriorate, and families may feel the pinch in other ways. Before furloughs can begin, affected employees will be given at least 30 days' prior notice, Panetta said.

DoD will work to ensure furloughs are executed in a consistent and appropriate manner, the secretary added, and Pentagon officials also will continue work with employee unions.

"Furloughs, like other spending cuts, degrade our mission readiness by delaying or deferring important work. This includes fixing our aircraft and vehicles, staffing our hospitals, handling contracting and financial management, and providing functional expertise at our headquarters. This affects our mission, our communities, and importantly the families of our civilian Airmen who have accepted the responsibility of serving our nation," said Lt. Gen. James Kowalski, Commander of Air Force Global Strike Command.

Kowalski said all services or facilities in AFGSC which employ civilian personnel will be affected to some degree, to include workload reductions, longer wait times, and fewer personnel available to provide necessary services.

"Our most important asset at the department is our world-class personnel," Panetta wrote. "You are fighting every day to keep our country strong and secure, and rest assured that the leaders of this department will continue to fight with you and for you."

Note: Jim Garamone, American Forces Press Service, contributed to this story.

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