Commander addresses Patriot Wing about upcoming furloughs

  • Published
  • By Col. Steven Vautrain
  • 439th AW commander
Men and Women of the Patriot Wing,

The Pentagon announced yesterday that furloughs for up to 11 days are scheduled to begin in early July. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel stated that - "After required notifications, we will begin the furlough period on July 8 at the rate of one furlough day per week for most personnel. We plan to continue these furloughs through the end of the current fiscal year. I have made this decision very reluctantly, because I know that the furloughs will disrupt lives and impact DoD operations. I recognize the significant hardship this places on you and your families."

We've been preparing for this since the initial notification in January.

Although the number is less than the 22 originally planned, 11 days is 11 days too many, but we must comply with direction from DoD. We are a strong and resilient wing, and we'll get through this as we continue to perform our mission to the best of our abilities. I know furlough will impose a financial burden on all of us. Some resources available are:

- The Employee Assistance Program helps federal employees with financial and legal services, counseling, budgeting tips and a variety of online tools. Their website is and their phone number is (800) 222-0364.

- Airmen and Family Readiness Center can help DOD civilians and military with financial planning, budgeting, and stress management tips. Contact them at 557-3027.

- Federal civilians may be able to receive assistance from the Federal Employee Education and Assistance Fund (

- Also, AFRC has established a Straight Talk page on its website, , to provide information, resources and links to help Reservists affected by force structure adjustments, sequestration and furloughs.

- Additionally, the Wingman Toolkit ( ) is intended to help reservists help themselves and each other in times of stress.

There has been no date set yet for required furlough notification letters to be sent. Our Civilian Personnel Office will provide specific furlough implementation guidance as it becomes available. As more information becomes available, we'll get it out to the Wing. As always, you can direct questions to Civilian Personnel at 557-3193.

Thank you for all that you do to make the Patriot Wing the best wing in the Air Force.