Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced Tuesday (May 14th) his decision to proceed with federal furloughs to manage the budgetary shortfalls facing the military and the nation.
“The Department of Defense has directed that we institute furloughs of up to 11 days for some of our federally-funded work force,” said Maj. Gen. Lee Tafanelli, adjutant general. “These cuts will affect the readiness of our overall force and will cause difficulty and hardship for our Kansas National Guardsmen and federal civilians.”
The furloughs will affect approximately 1,100 Kansas National Guard full-time employees, or 54 percent of the total full-time work force, resulting in a 20 percent pay cut starting no sooner than July 8. The majority of the individuals affected are federal technicians and a small number are federal civilians. Active Duty Guard and Reserve positions will not be affected.
“The individuals affected provide administration, operational and logistical support to the Kansas National Guard and Adjutant General’s Department,” Tafanelli noted. “We cannot cut those kinds of resources without having a significant impact on our services and capabilities.”
The furloughs are scheduled to continue through September 30 unless Department of Defense officials further reduce the number of weeks.
“We will do whatever we can to assist our Guardsmen and staff during this time including connecting them with appropriate resources, conducting town hall meetings to answer questions, and keeping them informed throughout the entire process,” Tafanelli said.