Posted Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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In less than two weeks, if Congress does not act to the contrary, the Budget Control Act of 2011 will require across-the-board cuts in most departments of the federal government.

Should sequestration occur, the Air Force expects to have to require up to 180,000 civilian airmen to absorb an involuntary unpaid furlough of 22 days during the remainder of this fiscal year. This will effectively mean that those personnel will be required to take a 20 percent pay cut for the year. More than 16,300 of those civilian airmen are Texans, the most of any state.

Aside from the impact on the civilian workforce, sequestration will affect the military's procurement budget significantly. This will have serious consequences for such programs as the F-35 and the Air Force's new tanker, the KC-46.

The impact will be felt across the Department of Defense's procurement budget, affecting every state and potentially damaging the national economy as well as the health of the Defense Industrial Base, a critical resource in our future ability to defend the country.

-- David A. Dietsch, Arlington,

vice president for government relations, Air Force Association, Texas

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