Furloughs to have minimal impact on community, services
MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP SMEDLEY D. BUTLER, OKINAWA, Japan -- Furloughs caused by sequestration are projected to have a minimal impact on military installations across Okinawa.
In a press release dated May 14, U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said most Department of Defense civilian workers would be furloughed for up to 11 days, and the furloughs would not begin until after July 8.
Managers were allowed to determine their own furlough procedures to minimize adverse effects on operations and customer service.
“There are no Marine Corps Community Services or nonappropriated funds activities on Okinawa that are being curtailed at this time,” said Carlos J. Saldana, chief of the nonappropriated funds and human resourses office with MCCS. “However, the real possibility for curtailment of MCCS and NAF activities still exists as budgetary cuts due to sequestration continues to slice into our operational funding.”
Army and Air Force Exchanges are also anticipating little effect from the cutbacks.
“We expect exchange facilities to be fully functional throughout the sequester,” said Col. Thomas Ockenfels, AAFES chief of staff. “Whether it’s a main store, military clothing (store) or a fast-food restaurant, all operations will continue.”
The Camp Kinser commissary, which is closed regularly on Mondays, is the only commissary scheduled to close for an additional day—Tuesday—beginning July 9.
Department of Defense Education Activity schools were not exempt from the furloughs. DODEA will implement the furlough in a manner that minimizes impact on student education, provides a full year of academic credit, and maintains school accreditation. School will begin as scheduled for school year 2013-2014, but schools across Okinawa will be closed Sept. 3, 9, 16, 23 and 30.
The full effect of the furloughs will not be realized until after they are implemented, thus Service members and their families are encouraged to refer to the Defense Commissary Agency, MCCS, AAFES and DODEA websites to stay informed.