In the news...

August 7, 2013

Savings, reprogramming enable furlough reduction

Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

Savings and the ability to reprogram funds made possible Aug. 6 announcement by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel that unpaid furlough days for about 650,000 civilian employees are being reduced.

Hagel signed a memo cutting furlough days for about 650,000 Defense Department civilian employees from 11 to six. This means that for most employees, the furlough will be over Aug. 17.

Effective immediately, furloughs are over for all DOD Education Activity personnel on 10-month contracts — mostly teachers and support personnel working in the activityís school system – so the 2013 school year will not be affected, officials said.

In a message announcing the reduction, Hagel said that since he announced the 11-day furlough in May, ìCongress has approved most of a large reprogramming request that we submitted, Ö giving us the flexibility to move funds across accounts. The military services have been aggressive in identifying ways to hold down costs, and we have been successful in shifting savings Ö to meet our highest priority needs.

When Hagel reluctantly decided to impose furloughs in May, the department faced an $11 billion shortfall. The department already had imposed a hiring freeze, cut facility maintenance and laid off temporary employees before making the furlough decision.

The cuts severely affected readiness accounts, with Navy ships not sailing, Air Force squadrons not flying and Army and Marine Corps units not training. Readiness of these units was so endangered that leaders determined that furloughs were the best way to find the last $2 billion in savings needed.

But even as [Hagel] made the announcement, the secretary said he would try to reduce the number of days without endangering training and maintenance, a senior defense official, speaking on background, told reporters after the memo was issued.

The savings and reprogramming allowed the department to accomplish two goals, he said. First, there were ìmodest improvementsî in training. The Air Force has been able to return squadrons to flying, and the Army has been able to fund organizational training. Second, the department was able to reduce furlough days.

While this is positive news for the department and for our valued civilian workers, we’re still facing some major challenges,î the senior official said. ìMilitary readiness is degraded heading into 2014. We still need several months and substantial funding to recover. And yet, 2014 is a year that will feature great uncertainty, Ö and it may feature some additional austerity.

The budget for fiscal year 2014 is up in the air.

Secretary Hagel wants to assure our civilian employees that he will do everything possible to avoid imposing furloughs again next year,î the official said.

In his memo, Hagel thanked the civilian workforce ìfor their patience and continued dedication to our mission during these extraordinarily tough times and for their continued service and devotion to our department and our country.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines March 2, 2015

News: Israel lobbies for more missile defense funds than Obama sought - For the second consecutive year, Israeli officials have asked the U.S. Congress to add more than $300 million to President Barack Obama’s budget request for their nation’s missile-defense programs.   Business: Inside one of the most intense, and unusual, Pentagon contracting wars - The much-anticipated...
 
 

News Briefs March 2, 2015

Italy resumes Navy exercise amid new tensions over Libya The Italian Navy is resuming exercises in the Mediterranean Sea, including near the coast of Libya, amid concerns about rapidly deteriorating security in the North African nation. The exercise began March 2 and includes anti-submarine, anti-aircraft and anti-ship training operations. The exercise was suspended for a...
 
 

News Briefs February 27, 2015

Ukraine will start pulling back heavy weapons in the east Ukraine’s military says it will start pulling back its heavy weapons from the front line with Russian-backed separatists as required under a cease-fire agreement. The Defense Ministry said in a statement Feb. 26 that it reserved the right to revise its withdrawal plans in the...
 

 

Northrop Grumman’s AstroMesh reflector successfully deploys for NASA’s SMAP satellite

The NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory successfully deployed the mesh reflector and boom aboard the Soil Moisture Active Passive spacecraft, a key milestone on its mission to provide global measurements of soil moisture. Launched Jan. 31, SMAP represents the future of Earth Science by helping researchers better understand our planet. SMAP’s unmatched data capabilities are enabled...
 
 

Headlines February 25, 2015

News: Army to send headquarters group to Kandahar in first sign of revision to Afghan withdrawal plan - In the first official sign that the Pentagon plans to keep a U.S. military presence in southern Afghanistan after this year, the Army is sending the 7th Infantry Division headquarters from Joint Base Lewis-McChord on a year-long deployment...
 
 

News Briefs February 25, 2015

Lithuania restores compulsory military service Lithuania will restore compulsory military service for young men as tensions in Ukraine continue to worry the small Baltic nation, the government said Feb. 24. After a meeting of military leaders and top government officials, President Dalia Grybauskaite said the measure was necessary because of growing aggression in Ukraine. Military...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>