Ellsworth Announces It Will Furlough 566 Civilian Employees
Ellsworth Air Force Base announced it will furlough 566 civilian employees. The employees are asked to take leave for eleven non-consecutive days. Officials say this is a result of the Sequestration and cuts in the federal budget.
Colonel Kevin Kennedy is the Commander of the 28th Bomb Wing at Ellsworth. He says this furlough will affect individuals that work in operations, medical, support, and maintenance on the base. He says although eighty-five percent of the work force is not affected, productivity will inevitably slow down.
“What we won’t be doing is any of the sustainment – missions won’t get done in the same timeline that they would before because we are going lose fifteen percent of our workforce, we’re going to lose twenty percent of their time to work starting in July and going through the end of September. So any of the pro-active efforts that we would have, any of the things we’re looking to do will just start to stack up. We’ll triage the work with the people that we have but as we start moving forward there will be some things that we won’t do and we’ll have to push off until later that we would like to get done,” says Kennedy.
Kennedy says the civilian employees are a key part of Ellsworth’s mission. He adds that employees were aware that the furlough was pending but that they did not know when it would be implemented or how long the furloughs would be. Kennedy says that he does not see this furlough as a sign of future cuts on the base.