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The Scoop

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470 Grissom workers to begin furloughs

Statement as issued Friday by Grissom Air Reserve Base:

GRISSOM AIR RESERVE BASE, Ind. – More than 470 Department of Defense civilian employees at Grissom Air Reserve Base will begin unpaid furloughs beginning the week of July 8. The furloughs for DOD employees are the result of congressional mandated budget cuts to federal agencies, including the DOD. The budget cuts, also known as sequestration, will trim more than $30 billion from the armed forces annual budget for fiscal year 2013.

At Grissom, DOD employees will take 11 unpaid furlough days between July 8 and September 30. According to the DOD, the unpaid furlough days will reduce pay for employees about 20 percent over the furlough period. In most instances, employees will be furloughed for one, eight-hour period each week for the remainder of the fiscal year. The days of the week in which furlough periods are taken will vary among employees based on mission requirements.

The DOD estimates the furlough will cost Grissom workers $1.5 million in salary, an average of more than $3,100 per worker. While the mandated furlough will affect most DOD employees at Grissom ARB, some workers deemed essential for the protection of life and property, such as security personnel, or those who are currently deployed overseas or who will be deployed later this year, are exempt.

The original furlough plan that was announced by the DOD earlier this year had called for 22 furloughs days. The number was reduced to 11 by Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel.

Grissom ARB is home to the 434th Air Refueling Wing, the largest KC-135 Stratotanker unit in the Air Force Reserve Command. The base’s annual economic impact to the region is estimated at more than $149 million.

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