DOD technician furloughs reduced to six days

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel conducts a news briefing at the Pentagon in Arlington, Va.,, on July 31. He said Tuesday federal furlough days would be reduced from 11 days to six.

Photo courtesy Dept. of Defense

 

Staff reports

National Guard Bureau

 

ARLINGTON, Va. - Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Tuesday that furloughs affecting Department of Defense civilians and military technicians will be cut from 11 days to six days.

Hagel said that Pentagon officials found sufficient savings in the final months of the current fiscal year to lessen the burden on those who have had to take a day off a week without pay since early July, according to the Associated Press.

“Hoping to be able to reduce furloughs, we submitted a large reprogramming proposal to Congress in May, asking them to let us move funds from acquisition accounts into day-to-day operating accounts,”Hagel said.

“Congress approved most of this request in late July, and we are working with them to meet remaining needs,” Hagel said. “We are also experiencing less than expected costs in some areas, such as transportation of equipment out of Afghanistan. Where necessary, we have taken aggressive action to transfer funds among services and agencies. And the furloughs have saved us money.”

Responding to that news, Army Gen. Frank Grass, chief of the National Guard Bureau, said:

“Like many of you, I am very grateful for today’s announcement from the secretary of defense that, effective immediately, all National Guard Title 32 technician and Title 5 civilian personnel furlough obligations are reduced to six days (48 hours).

“This is great news for our National Guard military technicians, civilians and their families, who have remained patient and professional throughout this challenging time. The announcement is the right decision for our country, as the restored days will help ensure our National Guard Soldiers and Airmen are better trained and ready to protect this nation at home and abroad.”

Grass said National Guard technicians cannot assume the reduction in furlough days is a sign that the DoD’s budgetary shortfalls and associated readiness impacts are over.