Eglin civilians receive furlough notice

Published: Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 05:41 PM.

EGLIN A.F.B. — Civilian employees of Eglin Air Force Base were notified this afternoon to begin making preparations for possible furloughs if Congressionally mandated "sequestration" is activated March 1.

Sequestration is a half-trillion-dollar across-the-board government spending cut required by law following the failure of the bi-partisan Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to arrive at a plan for reducing the national deficit. The "super committee," as it was called, announced its inability to reach an agreement on Nov. 21, 2011.

The memo received by civilian workers at Eglin announced the Department of Defense today notified Congress of its intent to furlough civilian workers if sequestration is activated March 1. President Barack Obama shielded active duty military members from furloughs.

"Notification of DoD's intent to furlough is the first step in the furlough process," the memo stated. "It is NOT an irrevocable decision to furlough civilian airmen, but you should begin personal planning in the event sequestration is not avoided."

Furloughs could occur one day a week for up to 22 weeks, defense contractor InDyne General Manager Jim Heald said during an interview with News Bulletin editorial staff.

"All government civilians would take one day off per week without pay," Heald said. "That's a 20 percent hit. We'll all be watching Washington, D.C., to see what's going to take place in the next week...I'm very nervous for my workforce. I have about 800 great patriots working for me. Hopefully Congress will do its job."

Because it works hand-in-hand with its government customers, InDyne, though a private company, would be affected by fuloughs.

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