Pentagon: Civilian furloughs could last months

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Associated Press & 13News

Posted on January 25, 2013 at 2:03 PM

Updated Friday, Jan 25 at 7:01 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) -- With the 2013 Pentagon budget in doubt, the military is preparing for big cuts that include layoffs and delayed ship repairs.

In Washington Friday, Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said that if Congress does not come up with a way to avoid mandatory budget cuts by March 1, hundreds of thousands of Pentagon civilian employees will face furloughs and reduced paychecks by April.

Carter stated the furloughed employees would lose one day of work per week for the remainder of the budget year, which ends in September.

The Pentagon has about 800,000 civilian employees; they have not yet been officially notified of furloughs. Carter said the furloughs would be expected to save $5 billion.

Carter said the Pentagon already is eliminating all 46,000 of its temporary civilian workers in anticipation of budget cuts.

The Virginian-Pilot reports Navy leaders are in the process of cutting expenses - laying off thousands of temporary civilian workers, reducing base operations and preparing to cancel maintenance work on more than two dozen ships and hundreds of aircraft.

The newspaper says there are plans to cancel maintenance for about 30 Navy ships at private shipyards and maintenance for about 250 aircraft between April and September. The Pilot states there temporary civilian employees would be let go and a civilian hiring freeze put in place.

In a Navy memo dated January 24, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert said, "We are making the following reductions, starting now, to ensure we can fund ongoing deployments and other mission-critical activities.”

AP-WF-01-25-13 1708GMT

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