6,000 Navy civilian workers face 11-day furloughs
HONOLULU - The 6,000 civil service employees at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam and the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai face furloughs of 11 days because of federal budget cuts, according to the commander of Navy Region Hawaii.
Rear Adm. Frank Ponds told Hawaii News Now that the employees will be off work about one day per week between July and September to meet budget goals dictated by automatic federal budget cuts that went into effect when Congress did not approve alternatives.
The furloughs originally were projected to cover 22 days per employee.
"That's a tremendous achievement because it cuts in half what we would have done to our workforce that we value so much," Ponds said.
The federal budget cuts will cause short-term turbulence but will not alter Navy commitment to Pacific security, he said.
Navy Region Hawaii has 11 ships and 18 submarines. Money will be saved by reducing training days at sea.
"We have not gone underway during the weekend, and come back in and out of port, because it incurs additional costs," he said.
Maintenance also will be affected.
"We are deferring maintenance where we can, delaying maintenance where we can," he said.
Cuts were made where manpower losses could be absorbed, he said. Emergency personnel and 4,300 civil service employees at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard were not affected.
In July, Ponds will leave Hawaii after 20 months for a new assignment in San Diego.