Adjutant General Bill Burks says unless Congress and President Barack Obama find a way around sequestration’s cuts, 582 of his civilian technicians will suffer the 20 percent/day-a-week furloughs.
The majority of those technicians, he said are in the northern part of the state. The Army National guard has 259 of 333 in the north and all but two of the 249 Air National Guard technicians are in the north.
Unless they are exempted or an answer to the sequestration bill is found, Burks said the civilian technicians would lose 20 percent of their pay for 22 weeks beginning sometime in the second half of April.
“I equate it (sequestration) to the ultimate game of chicken and nobody blinked,” he said.
He said that would definitely hurt the Nevada guard’s readiness and overall operation.
“Obviously we’re going to minimize the impact any way we can,” he said. “Unfortunately, a lot of these shops are one deep and would have to shut down operations until they (the person operating the shop) is back the next day.”
Those technicians provide a wide variety of services including “a lot of maintenance of aircraft.” He said they do everything their military counterparts do including fixing vehicles, aircraft and helicopters.
Another problem, Burks said, is the cutbacks ordered to training flights. He said flying has been “slashed” from 200-300 hours a month to 40 hours.
“It’s ridiculous,” he said. “You can’t prepare for inspection when you’ve only got 40 hours a month. It’s going to hurt readiness.”
He said he knows the guard isn’t the only area of government that will be hurt, that every area will feel the cuts.
Burks said he also has just about 400 Active Guard Reservists in the Nevada military — some 250 in the Army guard and about 140 in the Air guard — but that those individuals are exempt from the furloughs.
“You can’t prepare for inspection when you’ve only got 40 hours a month. It’s going to hurt readiness.”
— Adjutant General Bill Burks