Iowa National Guard members get furlough notices

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Written notices went out in the past week advising National Guard federal technicians and other Defense Department civilian employees that furloughs required under federal budget cuts are about to begin.

Thousands of technicians and civilian employees for the National Guard will be forced to take 11 furlough days before the federal fiscal year ends September 30, 2013.  The furloughs are scheduled to begin the week of July 8.

About 1,100 federal technicians working for the Iowa National Guard will be furloughed one day per week for 11 weeks as part of the sequester cuts.   The technicians are responsible for a wide variety of tasks including logistics, aircraft maintenance and accounting.

Iowa Army National Guard spokesman Col. Greg Hapgood said the cuts will affect every area of operations for the Guard.

“The National Guard is the only part of the uniformed Army and Air Force in which Soldiers and Airmen are directly affected, because of the inclusion of military technicians in the furlough,” said a statement from the National Guard Bureau.

National Guard civilian employees, Active Guard and Reserve Citizen-Soldiers and –Airmen are not subject to furlough.

Civilian employees of the Defense Department were originally scheduled to take 22 furlough days, but that time was cut in half.  The Defense Department has about 800,000 civilian employees.   About 4,600 workers at the Rock Island Arsenal are also among those who face furloughs.