Thousands Of Fort Campbell Employees Face Furlough - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Thousands Of Fort Campbell Employees Face Furlough

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FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. - On the eve of automatic military budget cuts, Fort Campbell's garrison commander said the installation's 8,000 civilian employees could face up to 22 unpaid days off this year.

Col. David L. "Buck" Dellinger told reporters Thursday that Fort Campbell's leaders are making budget decisions sometimes on an hourly basis to prepare for $70 million in budget cuts scheduled to take effect on Friday.

Dellinger compared preparing for all financial possibilities to preparing for war.

"We don't actually know all the time how much money we're going to have from quarter to quarter and how we're going to apply that," he said. "Essentially this is how it operates down range in Afghanistan and Iraq."

The installation on the Tennessee-Kentucky state line is hosting town hall meetings in the coming days with staff and soldiers.

Dellinger said they have to balance providing training for thousands of soldiers who are preparing to deploy to Afghanistan this year, while finding savings in areas like civilian employee salaries, maintenance and other operating costs.

Any civilian facing furlough days will be given 30 days notice, meaning the immediate impacts won't be visible until at least April.

Active duty military salaries and housing are exempt, but some programs or services state-side soldiers use could slow or stop in the coming months, he said.

One group Col. Dellinger says will never see an impact is soldiers preparing for deployment.

"If a solider needs to be at training, and that's critical training for a solider to deploy with his unit. He will get that," he said.

More than 30,000 troops are based at Fort Campbell, and many are currently deployed to Afghanistan.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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