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Sequestration: Buckley leaders host Town Hall

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- More than 400 civilians and supervisors gathered March 1 in the Leadership Development Center to hear the official message on civilian furloughs, address their concerns and ask questions about what sequestration will mean to them.

Sequestration, the term used for across-the-board budget cuts within the government, will affect all appropriated fund civilians. These civilians account for approximately 2,150 people on Buckley Air Force Base, including the Air Reserve Personnel Center and a number of other Buckley partners.

"As of today, we have offered up a few cuts in the 460th Space Wing, and I know ARPC has, as well," said Col. Dan Dant, 460th Space Wing Commander.

"As I pledged to you, I'm not going to keep anything from you," he said to the room of civilians and their supervisors. "I'm going to be as transparent as possible."

The furlough, which will likely last from April 21 to Sept. 30, requires civilians to take 22 discontinuous unpaid days during the furlough equaling a 20 percent cut in pay. For some, this may be as little as $200 per pay period, and others may see more than $600 coming from their paychecks.

To mitigate the financial burden, numerous resources were discussed to include the Air Force Aid Society for civilians who are also Air Force retirees, various Thrift Savings Plan options, free financial counseling from the Airman and Family Readiness Center, or the Federal Employee Education and Assistance Fund.

Numerous questions were raised and answered during the Town Hall - some of them bleak while others centered on the wingman concept with some wondering how they could bear more of the furlough burden so those with greater financial hardships would be less affected.

Dant, along with Brig. Gen. John C. Flournoy, ARPC commander, encouraged both civilians and Airmen to take care of one another during stressful times,

For local information on the furlough to include the slides and questions and answers from the March 1 Town Hall meeting, as well as additional Defense Department and Air Force level news and resources, go to http://www.buckley.af.mil/news/budgetuncertaintyresources/index.asp.
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