Col. Kevin Gregory, U.S. Army Garrison commander for Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield, reported to the Liberty County Chamber of Commerce during its Progress Through People Luncheon on Thursday at Connection Church in Hinesville.
Gregory began his state of the garrison address by updating the chamber on furloughs planned for Department of Defense civilians. He summarized this week’s directive by DoD Secretary Chuck Hagel that civilians will be furloughed one day a week for 11 weeks after July 8.
“The good news is we planned for 22 days, but it’ll only be 11,” Gregory said. “The bad news is our civilian workforce will see a reduction in pay of eight hours a week, which for (some) will amount to about $10,000.”
He suggested their pay reduction will affect the entire community because they’ll have less money to spend.
He waived a flyer that contains information about Stewart-Hunter, especially its economic impact. Stewart-Hunter’s total annual economic impact for Georgia is $5.6 billion. The salaries of about 11,000 soldiers, DoD civilians and military contractors living in Liberty County are nearly $486 million a year, and the more than 3,000 retired soldiers’ pay amounts to nearly $66 million a year. Nearly one-third of the installation’s soldiers, DoD civilians and civilian contractors live in Liberty County.
Gregory also talked about reducing the civilian workforce. He said at the beginning of the year, the installation had about 1,100 civilians. By the end of the fiscal year — Sept. 30 — they expect the number to be down to about 900 with nearly all the cuts absorbed through attrition. He said a mock reduction in force was conducted that identified employees whose jobs were at risk and efforts are being made to offer them jobs at other installations.
Read more in the May 22 edition of the News.