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Nevada Guard, DOD will muscle through furlough period

WASHINGTON -- As the Department of Defense enters the furlough period, the department will concentrate on the core mission of defending the United States and its interests, Pentagon press secretary George Little said Monday.

The Nevada National Guard's technician work force began to experience the direct effects of sequestration when administrative furloughs began for nearly every technician in the organization on Monday. Furloughs are set to continue through Sept. 30 for the more than 530 federal technicians who support the Nevada Guard.

Because of sequestration, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel made the difficult decision to furlough about 85 percent of the nation's DOD civilian employees one day a week through the end of the fiscal year, a total of 11 days, the press secretary said.

Little estimated the action will save the department $1.8 billion by the end of September.

What happens in fiscal 2014 remains up in the air, Little said in response to a reporter's question about the possibility of future layoffs.

"It's unfortunate we're in this period but we're going to muscle through it best we can," Little said.

The sequestration furloughs should not affect Nevada's citizens dramatically. Nevada Guard Active Guard and Reserve Soldiers and Airmen, who are not affected by the furloughs, will continue to staff the state's armories and air bases on a daily basis during normal business hours.