The sequester-driven mandatory furlough days of several hundred full-time civilian employees at the Youngstown Air Reserve Station have been cut nearly in half.
Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced Tuesday that the Department of Defense was reducing the number of furlough days from 11 to six.
That means that most of the 400 YARS full-time civilian employees will complete their mandatory furlough days by Aug. 19 instead of the end of September as originally planned, base officials said.
The reduction is based on Congress’ approval of parts of a large reprogramming proposal the DOD submitted to federal law- makers in May, allowing for the movement of funds from acquisition accounts to day-to-day operating accounts as well as less than expected costs in some areas, Hagel said.
“While we are still depending on furlough savings, we will be able to make up our budgetary shortfall in this fiscal year with fewer furlough days than initially announced,” he said.
The reduction in furlough days will lessen economic hardship for the station’s workforce and increase mission readiness for personnel, said Col. William Philips, 910th Airlift Wing Operations Group commander. The 910th is housed at YARS.
“The reduction in furlough days is good news to our personnel in these stressful and uncertain times. The 910th looks forward to returning to full-time operations in support of our wartime mission,” Philips said.
Monday access to base services for DOD card-holders is scheduled to resume Aug. 26. Those services include the base fitness center, community activity center, base exchange and ID-card section. The base has been closed Mondays since furloughs began July 15.