2/21/2013 - ALTUS AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. — Pentagon officials recently announced that if sequestration occurs, unpaid furloughs for civilian Defense Department employees will start in late April. Altus AFB has implemented near-term actions to mitigate the effects of sequestration, should it occur. As part of an Air Force-wide response to help prepare for the new fiscal year, Altus AFB was directed by senior leaders to follow a force-wide temporary hiring freeze and limit non-mission critical expenses. Altus AFB has limited temporary duty assignments and visits that are not mission-critical. All of these actions are reversible and will not have harmful effects on readiness.
“Our goals are to continue to accomplish our mission sets, minimize harmful effects on readiness, and provide the best care we can for our personnel and families,” said Col. Anthony Krawietz, 97th Air Mobility Wing commander. “We are engaging at all levels to ensure we are being fiscally responsible in everything we do.”
If sequestration goes into effect March 1, initial and upgrade mobility training could be severely impacted. Advanced pilot and instructor training courses will be curtailed beginning April 1 in order to protect initial flying training, which is expected to stand down in late August or early September. If automatic cuts are enacted, Air Education and Training Command will start implementing actions as soon as March 1.
Sequestration cuts require all military services and defense agencies to furlough most Department of Defense civilian employees for an average of one day per week for up to 22 weeks beginning April 25.
1,047 defense civilians at Altus AFB could be affected by civilian furloughs. Furloughs would not affect the roughly 200 non-appropriated fund employees at Altus AFB, and will not apply to military personnel. “Defense civilians are invaluable to our mission - these professionals do the work that has to be done in order for us to accomplish our mission. If a furlough occurs, aircraft maintenance, medical services, and many other services and facilities would be affected to some degree,” Krawietz said. “We are taking actions now to prepare for possible sequestration, in order to remain as efficient and effective as we possibly can.”
Altus Air Force base remains fully invested in transitioning to a cost-conscious culture, and continues to educate the youngest generation of Airmen on this concept. “We will continue moving forward to assist in cost-saving efforts,” said Krawietz. “It is our responsibility to utilize our resources and expert personnel we have to ensure we sustain world-class training and mission readiness.”
More information will be released as it becomes available.