Eglin general: Furloughs just one part of sequestration

Published: Thursday, March 7, 2013 at 11:58 AM.

“If you think I can do what I did with a furloughed workforce that I did with a non-furloughed workforce, then the answer is absolutely, positively not,” Harris said. “We are going to take a productivity hit. We are not going to get the throughput that we wanted. We’re not going to able to provide the level of care that we wanted to provide. We’re not going to be as relevant as you normally would. You just don’t take a cut like that and expect the product to be the same.”

He doesn’t expect cuts to active military at Eglin related to sequestration. If there are, he said they likely would be minimal.

However, there could be some cuts to military personnel at Eglin not associated with sequestration. Harris said Congress has set a reduction of slightly more than 3,000 active-duty airman across the entire Air Force to meet end-strength goals. Some of those cuts could be made at the base.

One program Harris doesn’t believe will be affected by sequestration is the F-35.

“There will be some tangential impacts to the F-35 because they are residents on my base, for instance, that provides them with a runway and provides them with utilities and those types of things,” Harris said. “So they’ll feel some of those effects, but for the most part the F-35 is being shepherded through its early development.”

Harris said the nation’s debt in general is making the country weaker and must be addressed. He said about $300 billion is spent each year on just the debt’s interest.

“We need to attack this because it is threatening our nation,” Harris said. “This is a really onerous burden that we are having to bare. But like when we’re fighting any enemy, it’s going to be uncomfortable and the conditions are not going to be ideal, but it’s worth the sacrifice to attack that which is not helping our nation to become stronger.”

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