Guard Mil Techs, Civilians Face Furloughs

NGAUS Washington Report

(May 21, 2013) Most National Guard military technicians and civilian employees can expect 11 furlough days before the end of the fiscal year, National Guard Bureau officials said May 16. 
 
The move comes after Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel gave official notice the day before to begin furloughing Defense Department civilians starting July 8. The furloughs affect all of DoD, including every branch and component of the armed forces.
 
But the Guard is the only part of the uniformed Army and Air Force in which soldiers and airmen are directly affected, because of the inclusion of military technicians in the furlough.
 
Because of other efforts to deal with budget cuts, only half of the 22 days originally envisioned as temporary layoffs will now be necessary, defense officials said. In a memo, Hagel said that he strongly prefers to end the furloughs early if the budget situation allows.
 
Active Guard and Reserve personnel are not subject to furlough, officials said.  
 
Grass has called sequestration potentially “devastating” to the Defense Department and the National Guard.
 
Some 75 Army Guard and 1,123 Air Guard military technicians needed for alerts, fire fighting, personnel recovery and other missions are exempted from the furlough.
 
Those subject to the furlough can expect to be furloughed for up to 11 days or 88 hours total between July and September, the last month of the fiscal year, officials said.

Affected personnel should expect to receive written notices of furlough between May 28 and June 5.
 
There is legislation before Congress that would exempt military technicians from furloughs. H.R. 1014 was introduced by Rep. Steve Palazzo, R-Miss., in March. It currently has 31 co-sponsors.
 
NGAUS issued an alert March 8 asking members to encourage their representatives in Washington to support Palazzo's bill. Association members can still be heard on this on this issue through the Write to Congress feature on the NGAUS home page.