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Fort Irwin warns of hoax news article

Furlough notice gives inaccurate info

STAFF WRITER

FORT IRWIN • Army officials at Fort Irwin are notifying civilian employees of a hoax news article circulating regarding recent federally mandated furloughs.

The article appearing to be from Stars and Stripes news with a byline from a Washington Post reporter alleges that civilian service employees with 20 or more years of active duty service cannot be furloughed more than one day per fiscal year, according to a notice from the Fort Irwin website.

National Training Center Deputy Commander Col. Flip Wilson said in an audio clip posted on the website: “Be assured that this is a hoax. Please do not rely on this information, as it is inaccurate.”

About 680,000 U.S. Department of Defense civilian employees, including workers at local bases, will begin taking unpaid time off on July 8 for up to 11 days through the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30, according to previous reports. Most civilian employees are expected to be furloughed at a rate of one day per week. While it was originally estimated to be about 14 to 22 days of required furloughs, DoD Secretary Chuck Hagel announced in mid-May that the number had been reduced.

“Major budgetary shortfalls drove the basic furlough decision,” an official DoD memo from Hagel’s office states.

As a result of federal sequestration, automatic budget cuts made by Congress that went into effect on March 1, DoD’s budget for the 2013 fiscal year was reduced by $37 billion, the memo states. That included a $20 billion reduction to the operation and maintenance accounts that pay many civilian employees.

For up to date information about furloughs at Fort Irwin call the furlough hotline at 760-380-2695 or visit www.irwin.army.mil.


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