Civilian employees at NAS Whiting Field undergoing mandatory furloughs will be back to work after Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced this week that the number of forced, unpaid days off would be reduced to six from the previous 11.
The furlough affected 320 employees, or around 60 percent of Whiting Field Department of Defense appropriated-funded workers, according to NAS Whiting Field spokesperson Lori Aprilliano. Those affected in the furlough are civilians that work on the military installation, not active-duty military members. Civilian employees work in administrative support positions, clerical support staff roles and in the bases' Morale, Welfare and Recreational Department.
Since the furlough began July 8, affected employees have taken five paid days off, accounting for 20 percent of a five-day workweek. Employees will be forced to take one more day off before the end of the fiscal year Sept. 30.
The DoD originally enacted the furloughs as an effect of sequestration, which forced automatic cuts in operating costs and training to meet budgetary shortfalls of more than $30 billion. Originally, the furlough was expected cut 22 paid days from the employees, but was cut back to 11 days after action was taken to cut spending.
"I want to thank our civilian workers for their patience and dedication during these extraordinarily tough times, and for their continued service and devotion to our department and our country," Hagel said. "I know how difficult this has been for all of you and your families."