The Navy has said that in response to sequestration, it will start laying off temporary employees, slow down maintenance at Marine Corps depots and continue its earlier-announced hiring freeze and planning for furloughs of nearly all its civilian federal employees.
“Given that reality and the associated impact of budgetary uncertainty imposed by an indefinite continuing resolution, the Department of the Navy intends to commence some reductions immediately,” said a directive issued Saturday by Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus. “We must endeavor to deal with the situation as we face it, not as we wish it could otherwise be.”
Under the directive, several ships will return to their home ports early, others — including humanitarian support ships — will not be deployed as planned, and preparations are to be made to reduce activities at certain air wings “to minimum safe flying levels.” Further, the Navy will seek to modify contracts for which full funds will not be available, affecting programs including advance procurement, reactor power units and a high-speed vessel.
Other steps will include reducing recruitment advertising and announcing the intent to cancel four air shows by the Blue Angels.
Previously announced cutbacks are to continue, including deferral of maintenance and repair work on several ships, the delayed deployment of several others, and the reduction of training not related to the readiness of deployed or next-to-deploy forces.
The Navy also previously had said it expects to issue formal furlough notices about March 15 formally informing nearly all of its employees that they face 22 unpaid furlough days from late April through September. Expected layoffs of temporary employees also were announced previously.
“These actions are being taken to preserve support for those forces stationed overseas and currently forward-deployed,” the directive said. “We made these choices carefully, while trying to preserve our ability to reverse or quickly restore negative effects if and when funding is restored.”