— In May, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced that more than 600,000 Department of Defense civilians will be furloughed for 11 non-consecutive days, totaling 88 hours.
In accordance with this guidance, Tobyhanna Army Depot has notified its 3,500–plus civilian employees that the first furlough day is scheduled for July 12.
Depot commander Col. Gerhard P.R. Schröter said the depot plans is to shut down industrial operations for 11 straight Fridays through Sept. 20.
Those Fridays will serve as the furlough day for the vast majority of Tobyhanna’s workforce.
Work performed by personnel at the installation and its forward repair
locations has already been impacted by sequestration resulting in reductions to the fiscal year 2013 third and fourth quarter depot maintenance programs.
Tobyhanna's original fiscal 2013 plan of $824 million in workload has been revised to $742.1 million, a reduction of $82 million.
In response to this downward trend, depot officials have already implemented a number of initiatives to address the declining workload.
Among these actions are a freeze on hiring new employees, restricted purchases of supplies, limited travel and modified plans to modernize and
upgrade depot facilities and equipment.
In addition, 310 Tobyhanna employees accepted early retirement offers in March, May and June. Contractors released since Oct. 1 total 333.
“This has been difficult; the adverse impacts to our employees,
contractors and the Northeastern Pennsylvania region are significant and
real,” Schröter said.
“But our workforce continues providing reliable
communications and electronic systems required by our nation’s war fighters.”
Schröter added that the depot’s future remains bright due to modern
facilities, an excellent reputation for producing quality products and, most
importantly, because of an "outstanding’ workforce that understands the
critical nature of Tobyhanna’s mission.