FORT RILEY, Kan. — Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced Tuesday his decision to proceed with federal furloughs to manage the budgetary shortfalls facing the military and the nation.
Fort Riley officials will move forward with plans to implement the secretary’s mandate. Furloughs will affect about 2,400 civilian workers across a broad spectrum of services at Fort Riley, they announced Friday.
“On or about July 19 and lasting until the end of the fiscal year, civilian employees will be furloughed for 11 non-consecutive days,” said Col. William Clark, garrison commander of Fort Riley. “We saw this action coming and have spent a lot of time planning for this requirement.
“There are a variety of different commands on Fort Riley and we’ve worked together to form an integrated plan to accomplish this in a holistic manner.”
Furloughs will affect workers who are compensated with appropriated funds (AF), or funds financed by annual or periodic appropriations from Congress. Each AF employee will be required to take the 11 non-consecutive days of furlough. Currently, there are no exceptions.
Non-appropriated fund (NAF) employees, paid by funds generated from other sources and not appropriated by Congress, and contractors will not be furloughed.
Effects of the furloughs at Fort Riley will be varied across the post.
“Our patrons and our community can expect a reduction of services to some degree, but with those services linked to life, health and safety, we have found a way to mitigate that, to make sure we maintain our obligations to our patrons. So, for example, if you are coming to Fort Riley and wish to get a new ID card you can expect a longer wait time.”
Some services will face neglible affects or remain unaffected while at others patrons can expect diminished levels of service. For example, due to the furloughs’ impact on the work force, patrons needing a new ID card may face longer wait times. Areas such as air traffic control at Marshall Army Airfield, In-Processing or Housing Services also will be affected by the furloughs. In general, visitors should expect longer waits or responses from such services during furloughs. Most ceremonies or special events will not take place on Fridays.
“The main thing to remember is that Fort Riley and our Army remains committed to taking care of our Soldiers, families, civilians and retirees throughout this time period,” Clark said.