Air Force leaders stand behind civilians during tough furlough
Acting Secretary of the Air Force Eric Fanning and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh III sent the following furlough message to the Airmen of the U.S. Air Force:
As you all know, Defense Department civilian furloughs began this week. With few exceptions, our civilian Airmen face involuntary furlough one day per week from the pay period starting July 8 through the pay period ending Sept. 21.
Civilian furloughs are a measure of last resort, and we deeply regret that the arbitrary across-the-board cuts imposed by sequestration led to this result. Despite standing down combat flying units, reducing space and mobility operations, reducing weapon system support, cutting installation support and facility repairs and cancelling most travel, training and exercises, we must still take this painful action. We recognize that this action inflicts personal and financial hardships on our civilian Airmen and their families. We need all of our great Airmen to do the nation’s work, and furlough is not the way to reward our dedicated civilian workforce for their service. We’re sorry this is happening.
While furloughs have real consequences for civilian Airmen, the reduction in productivity and capability resulting from this action will affect all Airmen. We appreciate your professionalism in dealing with this situation and promise we will continue to work with DOD and Congress to seek repeal of sequestration and an end to the frustration and mission impact it causes.
Senior Airman Rainier Jeffrey, 15th Medical Group medical technician, deployed with the Navy in support of a humanitarian aid mission, delivered twins without the aid of a midwife or physician in a village hospital.
Explosive ordnance disposal Airmen from the 366th Civil Engineer Squadron and fellow EOD Airmen from nine other bases performed range clearance at Saylor Creek and Juniper Butte Range complexes, clearing 35 tons of ordnance.
The U.S. Forest Service, through the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho, has directed the repositioning of military Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System aircraft from Colorado Springs, Colo., to Mesa to assist in the Yarnell forest fire.
The 23rd Expeditionary Bomb Squadron participated in exercise Pacific Bond 2013 June 24 and 25, in support of the U.S. Navy, Royal Australian navy and Japan Maritime Self Defense Force fleet defense training.