There's some good news for civilian employees at Fort Gordon. They will now only have to face half as many furlough days as originally expected.
In a memo from the Pentagon, details map out a plan reducing the total number of furlough days from 22 to 11. Those furloughs will be taken one day a week starting July 8th.
Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hegel says he has no choice but to go forward with employee furloughs. He said, Tuesday, they tried everything to avoid the furloughs, but couldn't. He says cuts to any other parts of the budget could have jeopardized national security.
“If we can do better than we'll continue to search for ways to do better. But, right now I can't run this institution into the ditch. This will go until the end of the fiscal year. We have taken it as close to the line as we can and still be capable of protecting this country and this county's interest in the world,” Hagel said.
Initially, the Pentagon had planned for up to 22 days of furloughs. The Pentagon must cut as much as $41 billion by September 30th because of forced spending cuts that went into effect on March 1st.
Fort Gordon Public Affairs Officer J.C. Mathews released the following statement Wednesday:
“Like the rest of the Defense Department, at Fort Gordon we heard the Secretary of Defense's announcement yesterday that the Department will furlough the civilian workforce for 11 days beginning July 8. At this time, specific guidance on how to implement the furloughs has not yet reached the installation, and we expect it will take some time for those instructions to filter down to our installation through our higher levels of command. In the meantime, we will review the planning that was conducted earlier in the spring and prepare to comply with the guidance that we receive. We will also do as much as we can to keep the work force informed as we receive information. In the meantime, we have a proud, dedicated and talented work force at Fort Gordon, and we will prioritize our missions to ensure that we continue to provide the most critical support to service members and families under these conditions.”