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 May 22, 2015

News: Second Marine killed in Hawaii Osprey crash identified - Marine Corps officials have identified the second Marine to die as a result of the May 17 MV-22B Osprey crash as Lance Cpl. Matthew J. Determan of Maricopa, Ariz.   Business: Israel defense exports plunge to seven-year low - Israeli defense sales last year plunged to their...
 
 

News Briefs May 22, 2015

Ukrainian officer hit with third charge in Russia A third charge has been filed against a Ukrainian military officer who has been behind bars in Moscow for nearly a year over the deaths of two Russian journalists in Ukraine. Nadezhda Savchenko, who worked as a spotter for Ukrainian troops fighting separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine,...
 
 

Headlines May 20, 2015

News: Top secret X-37B space plane blasts off on fourth mission - One of the most mysterious craft ever to go into orbit blasted off on a top secret mission this morning.   Business: R&D budget request rises for U.S. Special Operations - The leadership of U.S. Special Operations Command said the force and its acquisitions –...
 

 

News Briefs May 20, 2015

North Korea ‘many years’ from developing submarine missile A top U.S. military officer says North Korea is many years away from being able to launch ballistic missiles from a submarine. But vice chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. James Winnefeld, said May 19 such missiles could eventually present a hard-to-detect danger to...
 
 

House panel approves $578.6 billion for defense spending

The House panel that decides defense spending approved a $578.6 billion blueprint May 19 that fully funds a 2.3 percent pay raise for military men and women, prevents the retirement of the A-10 aircraft that protects ground troops and funds the U.S. fight against terrorism. The spending bill, which mirrors the broad defense policy bill...
 
 

News Briefs May 18, 2015

Military leaders gather in Hawaii to talk amphibious skills Amphibious military capabilities are on the agenda as the U.S. Marine Corps and Navy host defense leaders from around the Pacific in Hawaii this week. The first-of-its kind meeting comes as territorial disputes over islands grow more heated in the region. U.S. treaty allies Japan and...
 




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>