Civilian workers at McConnell AFB take pay hit

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WICHITA, Kansas — The military is preparing to take a big blow due to steep furloughs.

McConnell Air Force Base in Wichita is the latest to see the impact of sequestration with 520 civilian servants losing work hours.

They are being forced to take eight hours of unpaid time off each week starting this week through Sept. 30.

Zach Anderson is a spokesperson for the Army Reserve at McConnell. Nearly 150 people from his division are affected by the furloughs.

“Some people are going to be hit really hard by this,” said Anderson. “We have people that this is very devastating to and they are going to have to look at another source of income.”

The nationwide furloughs are expected to save the Department of Defense about $5 billion. $1.3 million will be saved from civilian furloughs alone.

“When you cut out a day a week of training, you affect readiness and you affect the operational mission,” said Anderson.

Second Lt. Jessica Brown admitted that furloughs have had a big impact on morale, but this is something they have been preparing for.

“This is really unfortunate and we’re really concerned about the financial ramifications this is going to have on them,” said Brown. “[But] we’re going to do our best to make sure that we work together to get through this.”

The Child Development Center workers and the sexual assault response team will be exempt from the furlough.

According to Brown, there are programs available for employees to help them with financing and budgeting.

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