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NC National Guard leader supports lifting furloughs for technicians

Posted July 24, 2013

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— The adjutant general of the North Carolina National Guard says he supports a federal bill that would exempt military technicians from civilian furloughs resulting from automatic federal spending cuts.

Army Maj. Gen. Greg Lusk said Wednesday that the 11 mandatory Fridays off without pay, which amount to a 20 percent pay cut, have brought financial hardships to more than 1,050 guardsmen serving as dual-status federal technicians – civilian employees who must be members of the National Guard.

Dual-status technicians are the only uniformed members of the military who are subjected to furlough.

The proposed bipartisan legislation, H.R. 1014, which was introduced in March by Rep. Steven Palazzo, R-Miss., would provide military technicians the same exemption as other uniformed military personnel.

"My hope is that Congress will move quickly to reverse the current furlough for all uniformed military personnel, so that we may continue to protect and preserve the lives and property of North Carolina citizens, defend our nation and secure our American way of life," Lusk said.

Lusk said dual-status technicians perform vital training, maintenance, administrative and managerial functions that help prepare for domestic and overseas missions and that many families – like that of Staff Sgt. Justin Hammond, are feeling the effects of reduced wages.

"The 20 percent figure in the big scheme of things, it's a big punch, a very big blow," said Hammond, an aircraft mechanic and father of three. "It's been tough."

Lusk said that although the National Guard is ready to respond to the needs of North Carolina and the nation, he is concerned about how furloughs remaining in effect through 2014 could affect the organization's ability to perform at an optimal level.

"Over time, this will definitely have an impact on our readiness," technician Staff Sgt. Randall Brown said. "We just don't have the man hours to put in to maintain the airframes we use the way you have to."

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  • whatelseisnew Jul 25, 2013

    "My hope is that Congress will move quickly to reverse the current furlough for all uniformed military personnel, so that we may continue to protect and preserve the lives and property of North Carolina citizens, defend our nation and secure our American way of life," Lusk said."

    I would agree except unfortunately the Politicians have no such security in mind. Now if you get the funding and you attempt to stop the ongoing invasion that is happening at our borders, that would be very nice. Course, I realize you will not be allowed to do that. So, what actually should happen, is we should simply completely disband our military.

  • salliray Jul 25, 2013

    I also agree with aightCPA as a military technician they are holding a civil service position, that is the job that they chose to do. Government employees work as hard as they do and are loosing the same per cent of money, plus they are probably doing week end drills so there would be extra money for them also.

  • Bob3425 Jul 25, 2013

    I hate to say but they are not special and should be treated special. I the guard can activate them if they are so important.

  • mapope57 Jul 25, 2013

    I agree with aightCPA,My husband was in the guard for 23years,13 of which he was a full time technician. Their job is no more important then the other government workers that are taking the 20% reduction, They all have familys to support.

  • aightCPA Jul 25, 2013

    I was in the NC Guard for six years and I can pretty much bet they completed the same amount of work in the 4 day work week that they completed in a 5 day work week. I hate it for them but they need to get a little more efficient in those tech shops. When they don't want to work hard, they don't. More talking and cracking jokes than working. If you want to see the good ole' boy system at its best, take a look at the full-time Guard people.

  • just my2cents Jul 25, 2013

    Amen SSGT Hammond. My son works with Hammond, and he, like the majority of the young men and women there have families to support and can't make it on a reduction! This is NOT the way to support our troops.