Moody Air Force Base begins furloughs

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Posted at 6:26 PM, Jul 08, 2013
and last updated 2013-07-08 14:54:06-04

VALDOSTA, Ga. (WTXL)--Tens of thousands of defense department employees across the country are now taking furlough days.

Federal budget cuts are also hitting here at home for 440 civilian workers at Moody Air Force Base.

Lt. Col. Brian Freeman says it's a difficult task to tell hundreds of employees they're losing up to 11 days of pay.

"The Department of Defense is looking at this as a way to keep jobs," said Lt. Col. Brian Freeman, the 23rd Force Support Squadron Commander.

Furloughs have started for more than 650,000 civilian workers under the defense department.

At Moody Air Force Base, 440 employees in areas ranging from medical to flying operations will have to deal with a 20 percent reduction in pay.

The base began to prepare for the blow about a year ago.

"We've offered some sessions for our folks to consolidate their debt, how to get through these next three months with reduced salaries," said Freeman.

Civilian workers are either taking a Friday or Monday as a furlough day each week.

Establishments like Cuz's depend on the military community for their business.

"If they weren't here, I wouldn't be here," said owner Sid Williams.

He says he hates to see furloughs happen to anyone but he's confident those affected will be able to adjust.

"They might not get chicken wings one night,"said Williams. "Maybe on Wednesday, I might have a bigger crowd since the beers a little cheaper."