Furlough days start Monday at Youngstown air base; will curtail services

Staff report


The Youngstown Air Reserve Station is scheduling eight designated furlough days on Mondays from Monday through Aug. 26 and on Tuesday, Sept. 3, as a result of the sequester-driven involuntary furloughs that began July 8.

Sequestration is the employment of automatic, across-the-board spending cuts in the face of annual federal budget deficits.

The furloughs will affect more than 400 Department of Defense civilian personnel assigned to the Youngstown Air Reserve Station and cut the work week at the installation by one day a week for up to 11 weeks.

In addition, 910th civilian employees must schedule additional “floating” furlough days, during which normal base services will be available.

The designated furlough days will save not only salaries, but the cost of other resources such as lights and air conditioning. Also, services usually available to DOD I.D. cardholders, such as I.D. card issue/renewal, and access to the fitness center, Base Exchange, Community Activity Center and the Retiree Activities Office, will not be available for as long as the base is affected by furlough and sequester,” said Col. James Dignan, commander of the 910th Airlift Wing housed at the air station.

However, the commander said security and fire personnel will continue to provide resource protection on designated furlough days; and while the furloughs will impact mission readiness, the 910th will continue to carry out airlift and aerial spray missions with the resources available, said Dignan.

“The sequester-driven furloughs strain our most important asset, our people. The civilian personnel here at YARS will suffer a 20 percent loss in pay that will cause hardship for many. Additionally, this pay loss will likely mean a reduction in our economic impact on the local community during this fiscal year,” said Eric K. Fanning, acting Secretary of the Air Force, in a letter sent via e-mail to Air Force personnel.

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