Military Notebook: Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta says no immediate furloughs

December 23, 2012 

According to a memo from Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, it appears Robins Air Force Base employees will not have to worry about returning from their New Year’s holiday to find they have been furloughed.

That seemed to be a possibility if Congress and President Barack Obama do not reach an agreement to stop automatic cuts that would slash 9.4 percent in military spending. The mandate would go into effect Jan. 2.

According to a story in the Air Force Times, Panetta states that even if the cuts go into effect, there would not have to be an immediate reaction.

“I do not expect our day-to-day operations to change dramatically on or immediately after January 2, 2013,” Panetta wrote. “This means we will not be executing any immediate civilian personnel actions, such as furloughs, on that date. Should we have to operate under reduced funding levels for an extended period of time, we may have to consider furloughs or other actions in the future.”

If furloughs are ordered, employees would get advance notice, he said. Furloughs would only be for civilian employees, as military members are exempted from the cuts.

Robins unit winsAFMC award

The 78th Force Support Squadron at Robins has been awarded the 2012 Air Force Materiel Command General Curtis E. LeMay Award for best large-category force support squadron.

According to a story in the Robins Rev-Up, the unit increased Morale, Welfare and Recreation funds by 60 percent, delivered more than $145,000 in Air Force Assistance Fund help and reduced the wait time for identification cards by 75 percent.

The award is named in honor of LeMay for his strong support of morale, wellness and recreation programs.

Tops in Blue coming to Warner Robins

The show will be held Jan. 12 at the Warner Robins Civic Center on Watson Boulevard next to City Hall. It begins at 7 p.m. and admission is free. The popular show usually draws a full house so get there early to ensure a seat.

The cast and technical crew is made up of almost 40 airmen who sing, dance and play music. They travel the world performing for military members and their families.

Wild hogs common at Robins Air Force Base

Feral hogs are becoming more of a problem at Robins Air Force Base.

According to a story in the Robins Rev-Up, wild hogs typically have remained in the swamp but are increasingly encroaching into populated areas. Natural resources manager Bob Sargent said the base has trapped and removed 16 hogs from around the golf course. He said hogs are attracted to areas that are irrigated because they like to forage in moist soil and wallow in soggy areas.

About a dozen people have permits to trap hogs on base, and 150 have been trapped this year.

To contact writer Wayne Crenshaw, call 256-9725.

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