FORT IRWIN Fort Irwin Garrison Commander Col. Kurt Pinkerton told the military community in a radio broadcast this week that base leadership has yet to be notified of an official furlough.


"What is being discussed in the Department of Defense and the government right now is 'Will there be a need to conduct a furlough?'" Pinkerton said. "I just want to reiterate at this time we have still not received a furlough notice or a requirement to execute a furlough with our civilian employees, but those are the discussions that are going on."


Public Affairs Officer Gus Bahena and Pinkerton discussed in their regular "Facebook Roundup" radio show on Wednesday afternoon how sequestration might impact the base. Bahena confirmed with the commander that not yet receiving a furlough notice was "good news" for the community.


"That's good news for all of us right now," Pinkerton said.


The commander reiterated that a furlough means civilian employees would be directed to possibly take up to 22 non-consecutive days off between April and September.


"And of course if our government civilians aren't here, then that means it impacts our ability to provide services across the installation," he said.


With a decrease in manpower he said the base may operate at "a little slower pace" but that their goal is not to shut down services. He said he wasn't able to answer questions regarding how hours at the base commissary would be impacted or how Child, Youth and School Services (CYSS) would be affected.


"Please understand that everybody on the post, and everybody within the leadership on this post, is working diligently to avoid any significant impacts to the population, so be patient with us," he said.


The base will be directed by Department of Defense officials on how to organize funds to keep all of the base's services running smoothly, according to Pinkerton.


"There are very systematic procedures to follow in this process and then as those procedures are followed that's when some of the unknowns may be answered," he said.


Addressing public feedback that some military personnel have a "sense of entitlement," Pinkerton said he disagreed.


"I don't think our families and our soldiers feel entitled. But they do have a level of expectation based on what we've provided for the last 11 years to them as a community," he said.


The "Facebook Roundup" radio segment can be heard at 2:30 p.m. every Wednesday on the local KNTC Heat radio channel 88.3 FM. Listeners can send questions on the base's Facebook page or call 760-380-5682.