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Groton Sub Base, National Guard Planning Furloughs

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Navy Submarine Base New London, Groton CT  (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Navy Submarine Base New London, Groton CT (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) _ About 750 civilian employees at the Navy’s submarine base in Groton and more than 600 technicians working for the Connecticut National Guard are facing furloughs as the Defense Department deals with automatic budget cuts.

The Day of New London reports (http://bit.ly/11mnxrK) that 618 National Guard technicians were to receive furlough notices on Tuesday. The group includes human resources and finance specialists, legal clerks and aircraft maintainers.

They will be asked to stay home one day each week for 11 weeks beginning on July 8.

“It’s going to be painful for those 11 weeks,” Col. Steve Gilbert, director of human resources for the Connecticut National Guard, told The Day. “I have to tell people, `You’re going to suffer a 20 percent pay reduction,’ and we recognize that for anyone from the top of the scale to the bottom, 20 percent is a significant reduction.”

Gilbert is among those ordered to take the furlough days.

Capt. Marc Denno, the commander of the Navy’s sub base, said the civilian furloughs there won’t affect the safety and security of the base or services for families, such as day care.  He said the base may have to cut the hours at its commissary.

There are about 1,300 civilian Defense Department workers at the base.

“Certainly the loss of work-hours from these dedicated and integral members of the team will impact base efficiency and support effectiveness,” he said in a statement.

There are no furloughs planned at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, but travel to academic and professional seminars has been limited.

Capt. Eric Jones, the assistant superintendent, said the summer training for cadets also will be impacted by the travel restrictions, and commencement did not include the traditional military flyover.

“The Coast Guard Academy has the funding to sustain its programs, just at reduced levels,” Jones said in a statement. “Our plan has been to focus on reductions to certain discretionary programs to help mitigate impacts to our workforce and to the training of our future leaders.”
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Information from: The Day, http://www.theday.com

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)   

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