Furloughs Threaten National Guard's Readiness in Event of a Hurricane
Published July 11th, 2013
STARKE - As another round of tropical weather threatens the state of Florida, officials are warning residents it could take longer to receive National Guard assistance in the event of a strong storm or hurricane.
It's just one more potential impact of the federal government's trillion dollar budget sequester.
Starting this past Monday, nearly 1,000 National Guard technicians, including about 200 at Camp Blanding, are now forced to take one unpaid day off from work every week through the end of September.
Officials at Camp Blanding fear that without the technicians around to maintain the equipment, the National Guard's ability to respond to emergency situations will be delayed.
"We will have to take that time to make sure that equipment is maintained and properly operational before we're able to go and respond to our state's needs," said Col. Dwayne Jarriel, a post commander at Camp Blanding, and one of the troops affected by the furlough.
In addition to the weekly unpaid day off, technicians are also being sent home an hour early every day.
Gov. Rick Scott has called on the federal government to temporarily stop these furloughs. There is no word yet on whether President Obama will consider his request.
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